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Sask. teachers vote to renew mandate for job sanctions

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Saskatchewan teachers have voted overwhelmingly to renew their mandate for sanctions – giving the Sask. Teachers Federation (STF) the power to reinstitute job action if negotiations fall through.

Over the two day voting period, 83 per cent of teachers cast a vote – 95 per cent of which supported further sanctions if needed.

“You have sent a very clear message that your priorities need to be addressed through this collective agreement process and if they aren’t, we are ready to continue fighting for as long as it can take,” Becotte said in a message addressed to STF membership.

“We have seen some progress at the table over the course of this week but we are ready to announce sanctions if the talks break down at any point.”

The STF’s previous mandate expires at the end of June.

The vote follows a clear rejection of the tentative agreement reached by the STF and Government Trustee Bargaining Committee (GTBC) in mid-April.

The agreement would’ve seen teachers receive an eight per cent pay increase over three years. It would include three per cent increases for year’s one and two, ending with a two per cent bump in year three.

Pay would be retroactive to September of 2023.

The province also included a line in the agreement referencing accountability framework concerning funding for classroom size and complexity.

The STF’s longstanding position has been proper attention to these concerns within a provincial collective agreement – while the province has refused this suggestion on principle and insisted on granting measures outside of bargaining.

The STF and GTBC returned to the bargaining table on May 15. Another meeting between the two sides is scheduled for Friday, May 17.

In the event of an impasse – the federation will issue a 48 hours’ notice to the restarting of sanctions.

The renewed mandate will allow the STF the ability to reimplement sanctions "until an agreement is in place."

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