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Saskatchewan teachers to begin work-to-rule Monday as contract talks hit an impasse

June 6, 2024
The Canadian Press

Teachers in Saskatchewan are set to begin work-to-rule next week with contract negotiations at an impasse.

The Saskatchewan Teachers‘ Federation says indefinite, provincewide work-to-rule will start Monday.

It says the province is refusing to consider anything other than binding arbitration, though the government notes the teachers federation had requested it earlier this year.

Beginning Monday, teachers will arrive at work 15 minutes before the scheduled school day begins and leave 15 minutes after it ends.

They are also set to withdraw all extracurricular services, voluntary services outside the restricted workday, and noon-hour supervision.

Teachers narrowly rejected the province’s latest offer for a new three-year deal last week.

They also rejected an offer earlier this year, saying not enough was done on classroom issues and salary.

Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill has said the best path forward is binding arbitration, something that takes bargaining out of the hands of both sides and gives it to a neutral third party to settle the deal.

“Our priority is to ensure that instructional time and important student activities are not affected any further,” he said in a statement Wednesday.

Samantha Becotte, president of the teachers federation, said last week that she wanted a chance to negotiate another deal before considering it.

In a statement on Wednesday, Becotte said the best deals are negotiated at the table.

“Government’s singular focus and insistence on binding arbitration shows that it is unwilling to adequately address the urgent needs of Saskatchewan students,” she said.

The sides have been at odds on a new contract since last year, with past sanctions also including the withdrawal of lunch-hour supervision and participation in extracurricular activities, as well as rotating strikes.

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