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Sask. teachers announce 2 day province wide withdrawal of extracurricular activities and supports

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Teachers all across Saskatchewan will withdraw extracurricular supports beginning on Tuesday, March 5.

The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) gave notice of the five-day countdown on Thursday afternoon. Although only 48 hours notice is required for job action, the STF said they are providing additional notice this time.

“We do not want kids to have to miss out on these opportunities which is why we have given government additional time to review their mandate and reconsider their position,” said STF president Samantha Becotte during a virtual meeting on Thursday.

The province wide withdrawal of extracurricular activities and voluntary services will begin on Tuesday and will run until Wednesday. The action will affect activities such as athletics, non-curricular art, field trips, student travel and graduation preparations.

Becotte said the job action can be stopped when the government is ready to negotiate on issues of importance to teachers, including class complexity.

“We do not want to be taking any of the actions that we have been taking but we need a government that takes this process seriously and engages in teachers with good faith,” she said. “We haven’t had that for the last nine months of this collective agreement process.

Becotte said while no job action would be the preferred choice, teachers cannot continue filling the gaps any longer and need reassurance from the government.

“It is their responsibility to represent the needs of all people here in Saskatchewan and investing in our kids is the best investment that they can make … so they need to start listening,” she said.

“If they don’t start taking this seriously then our sanction action will continue and will escalate.”

Over the past week, teachers in different school divisions across the province have been rotating strike action, withdrawing noon-hour supervision and extracurricular activities.

In a statement on Thursday, the Ministry of Education reiterated previous statements, saying the government has moved on several items the STF asked for, including a renewed salary mandate and workplace safety enhancements.

“Teachers and students should be in the classroom, and the teachers’ union should be at the bargaining table,” the statement read.

According to the statement, the Government Trustee Bargaining Committee extended invitations to the STF every day last week to come back to the bargaining table.

The STF declared impasses in negotiations in October and February. Their last contract expired in August 2023.

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