REGINA -- Saskatchewan teachers have voted 85 per cent in favour of a new four-year collective bargaining agreement.

The vote was held May 19 to 21, according to the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation.

The STF says regaining lost purchasing power and class complexity were the biggest issues during bargaining. However, the Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee didn’t include class complexity in the agreement.

“Acceptance of this Agreement does not signal that teachers’ concerns have been addressed,” STF President Patrick Maze said in a news release. “However, teachers recognize the world has changed dramatically and settling the contract enables them to focus their energy on supporting their students by continuing to adapt their teaching strategies and provide quality emergency remote learning for the rest of this school year.”

The STF says there will be a provincial class size and composition committee formed to address these concerns.

“We remain deeply committed to ensuring students have equitable access to the supports and resources

they need,” Maze said. “We will continue to propose and advocate for solutions through the new

committee. If government fails to implement meaningful change we will explore all avenues, including

future rounds of bargaining, to ensure students’ needs are met.”

The new agreement is effective from Sept. 1, 2019 to Aug. 31, 2023. Teachers will receive a zero per cent increase for the first year, and then two per cent increases for each of the following years.

The provincial government agreed to create new educational regulations that will require school boards to province the federation with a list of substitute teachers each year.

The Ministry of Education announced it had reached an agreement with teachers on April 22.