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Sask. teachers announce another one-day rotating strike

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Escalating tensions between the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation (STF) and the provincial government over a new contract have resulted in another round of one-day job action.

Following the previously announced suspension of all extracurricular activities across the province on Monday, the STF has announced a one-day rotating strike on Tuesday.

In a news release sent on Saturday, STF said that the one-day job action will include a rotating strike, withdrawal of noon-hour supervision, and withdrawal of extracurricular activities.

Teachers will not report to school and will not perform any teaching-related duties on the day of a strike, according to the release.

On Friday, STF announced that all extracurricular activities will be paused across the province on Monday for its 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.

Tuesday's strike action will involve teachers in:

- Association des enseignantes et enseignants fransaskois – École Boréale (Ponteix)

- Chinook Teachers’ Association – All schools in Chinook School Division

- Île à la Crosse Teachers’ Association – All schools in Île à la Crosse School Division

- Lloydminster Teachers’ Association – All schools in Lloydminster Public School Division and Lloydminster Catholic School Division

- North West Teachers’ Association – All schools in Northwest School Division

- Prairie Valley Teachers’ Association – All schools in Prairie Valley School Division

- Saskatchewan Distance Learning Centre – North West Campus (Neilburg), South West Campus (Swift Current)

To inform parents and caregivers about the job action and its impact, the STF is hosting a virtual information night on Monday at 7 p.m. via Zoom. STF President Samantha Becotte will provide updates on the status of contract negotiations and answer questions from parents and caregivers.

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 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.

—with files from Drew Postey

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