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Sask. teachers suspending extracurricular activities for one day as job action continues

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The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) says all extracurricular activities will be paused across the province on Monday for its latest round of job action as teachers remain at odds with the province over a new contract.

Extracurricular activities include sports, drama, music, band, science clubs, intramurals, rehearsals, student leadership activities, planning for graduation ceremonies, book fairs and all other clubs and activities, the STF said in a news release.

The planned pause is expected to only last for one day.

Monday will also see the continuation of suspending noon-hour supervision at various school divisions.

That will be for all Saskatoon public and catholic schools, the Northern Lights School Division, Northwest School Division, Prairie South School Division, Living Sky School Division, Light of Christ Catholic School Division and Sakewew High School in North Battleford.

The STF said president Samantha Becotte will provide an update for parents and caregivers on negotiations with the province on Monday evening virtually through Zoom.

“Teachers are passionate about the work we do to support students in classrooms and within the school community. We never want to be in a situation where opportunities for students are impacted; however, this government has left us no other options,” Becotte said in a news release Friday morning.

Saskatchewan teachers and the province have been at odds since initial negotiations began in May 2023.

The province has said it feels it is not appropriate to discuss teachers’ two biggest issues, classroom size and complexity, at the bargaining table.

Instead the provincial government says those issues brought forward by teachers are being taken care of via pilot projects and through funding.

A statement from the Ministry of Education said the Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee extended invitations every day this week to the STF to come back to the bargaining table.

"Unfortunately, the union continues to choose job action over bargaining," the statement read. 

The government says they moved on a number of items the STF asked for, including "a renewed renewed salary mandate and workplace safety enhancements."

"Outside of bargaining, the government has proposed an agreement with the STF to annualize the $53.1 million in additional funding for class size and complexity." 

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

Both sides have accused the other of not showing up to the bargaining table, both sides also say they are willing and ready to resume negotiations.

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