Teachers across Saskatchewan will walk off the job in a series of rotating one-day strikes.
“This does not have to be this way. They don’t want to be taking these actions. (But) teachers cannot continue working without knowing that they will have adequate supports to meet their student’s learning needs,” said Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) president Samantha Becotte while announcing the first batch of walk-offs.
On Thursday, teachers in cities including Moose Jaw, Prince Albert and North Battleford, and many towns throughout the province will hit the picket line.
According to the STF, the following divisions will be affected by the Feb. 1 strike:
Holy Trinity Catholic School Division schools
All Horizon School Division schools
All Prairie South School Division schools
All Prince Albert Catholic School Division schools
All Saskatchewan Rivers Public School Division schools
All Light of Christ Catholic School Division schools
All Living Sky School Division schools
Sakewew High School (North Battleford)
The STF said the strike will include Distance Learning Centre teachers and French-language schools in the affected areas
Becotte would not say when another rotating strike might occur.
“Any further action requires the 48-hour notice that we are legislated to provide. So if there is another announcement you’ll be provided with that notice time and in terms of these, we have a long-term plan and a short-term plan. Our goal is to get a negotiated agreement. Like I said, we do not want to be taking these actions,” Becotte said.
More than 13,000 teachers walked off the job province-wide for one-day strikes on Jan. 16 and Jan. 22.
The STF has threatened to engage in job action until the Saskatchewan government agrees to discuss classroom sizes and supports for students with complex needs at the bargaining table.
However, the provincial government has remained steadfast in its belief that those decisions are best left to local school divisions.
The two sides began talks in May before the STF declared a bargaining impasse in October.
Shortly after the impasse was declared, 90 per cent of the STF’s members voted 95 per cent in favour of potential job action, up to an including full withdrawal of services.
Teachers have been without a contract since the end of August.
— This is a developing story. More details to come.