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A second one-day teachers strike is happening this Monday

Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation President Samantha Becotte announces a second provincewide one-day teachers strike in a call with reporters Thursday.
STF President Samantha Becotte in a call with reporters on the latest job action by the teachers’ union.

SASKATOON - Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation is going on a one-day strike again this coming Monday. 

STF President Samantha Becotte announced the next round of job action in a Zoom call with reporters Thursday. The strike on Monday, Jan. 22 will be the second one-day provincewide strike by the teachers' union in less than a week, the first one having ataken place on Tuesday.

"It is unfortunate that we have to take these actions," said Becotte on the call. "Teachers want to be in their classroom, supporting their students day in and day out. We recognize this creates challenges for families across the province. But the years of underfunding that we have experienced in education, the lack of supports that are left in schools, have created significant challenges for many families across the province as well. Teachers are saying enough is enough.”

In their news release announcing the latest walkout, STf took issue with what they see as the government characterizing the dispute as only about salary. This is likely in response to the messaging from the government in the past couple of days with Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill posting this on the X platform:

“We’ve said we will work to address issues around class size and composition, and that’s exactly what we are doing with $53.1 million in new funding. While the STF says this isn’t about money, they continue to demand a 23.5% increase. Let’s get back to the table so we can negotiate a fair deal.”

In response, Becotte accused the government of "misrepresenting the negotiations process."

On the salary issue, Becotte responded that their opening proposal had been two percent increases per year,  as well as protections for cost of living increases “because salary increases have not kept up with inflation.” She also said they had expected a back and forth conversation, and that was not happening from the government.

“Our expectation is there is a back-and-forth. And I’m not sure the Minister of Education actually understands the negotiations process. When we present a proposal, and it should be the same for the government when they present a proposal, those opening proposals should be able to have a back-and-forth conversation and that’s not what we are experiencing in this process. We need to know that when we go to the negotiation table, we’re not going to continue to hear ‘no.’ We need to know that when we go, we’re going to have a conversation, meaningful conversations that are going to address the issues that teachers are experiencing in the province.”

Becotte said the union is ready to go back to the table at any point. “The Minister of Education has my phone number.”