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Sask. teachers to withdraw lunch hour supervision, marking 4 continuous days of job action

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The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) will withdraw from noon-hour supervision on Thursday, Feb. 29 in select school divisions across the province. The announcement marks four straight days of job action by educators in the province.

The STF made the announcement of its intended withdrawal on Monday.

“Although teachers, including principals and vice-principals, often provide lunch break supervision, it is done on a voluntary basis. Student supervision is the responsibility of the school division and supervisors are not required to be teachers,” the STF outlined in a news release.

Educators will withdraw from noon hour supervision on Feb. 29 in the following divisions:

  • Chinook School Division
  • Creighton School Division
  • Lloydminster Public School Division
  • Lloydminster Catholic School Division
  • North East School Division
  • Prairie Spirit School Division

The announcement comes after STF President Samantha Becotte warned the province that strike actions would escalate if it continued its refusal to discuss matters of class size and complexity at the bargaining table.

“We recognize that these actions have an impact on you and your families and more importantly, have an impact on your children,” Becotte told reporters on Monday. “Teachers do not want to take any action that disrupts student learning or removes opportunities for students to participate in actions within the school community.”

“But we cannot continue on our current course of action that the government has taken,” she added.

Over the course of the February break, the STF sought to demonstrate the issues teachers deal with on a daily basis – bringing forward stories of violence in the classroom.

The federation also highlighted other jurisdictions that have successfully included class size and complexity in their own collective agreements.

Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill has consistently described class size and composition as a “line in the sand” best dealt with by the school divisions, preferring to shift the discussion to salary.

The government has claimed it’s moved on several items the STF has asked for. These include a renewed salary mandate and enhancements to workplace safety.

Minister Cockrill has also pointed to the province’s $53.1 million investment in pilot projects focused on class size and complexity which were made outside the bargaining process.

“It’s unfortunate that the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) senior leadership continues to choose job action over getting a deal done on behalf of teachers, students and families,” a written statement from the Ministry of Education read.

“The Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee (GTBC) extended invitations every day last week to the STF to come back to the bargaining table, where negotiators had been waiting and were ready to engage in meaningful discussions.”

Thursday’s withdrawal of noon hour supervision will follow similar job actions on Feb. 26, Feb. 27 and Feb. 28.

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