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Saskatchewan teachers to start job action over stalled contract talks


March 9, 2020
By Todd Humber


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The union for Saskatchewan teachers says job action is to begin later this week over stalled contract talks.

The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation says its members will not provide any voluntary or extracurricular services starting on Thursday.

Teachers will report to school no more than 15 minutes before the start of the day and stay no later than 15 minutes at the end.

The government and the union met last week in an attempt to get back to the bargaining table.

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Education Minister Gordon Wyant indicated that the province was willing to offer more to teachers, but the union said the two sides were still far apart.

Wyant was not immediately available for comment.

“It is extremely frustrating that government admits there is a problem, but refuses to address it,” Patrick Maze, president of the teachers’ federation, said in a statement Monday. “Students are paying the price.

“Teachers have made it clear that securing adequate classroom resources for students is worth fighting for.”

Last month, teachers voted more than 90 per cent in support of job sanctions. The union has said about 97 per cent of its 13,500 members took part in the vote.

“We recognize this causes uncertainty, disappointment and frustration for students, parents and teachers,” said Maze. “We had all hoped to avoid this situation.”

He said teachers will continue to supervise students during recess and lunch as well as during bus times.

The sanctions are to remain in effect until further notice, Maze said.

The teachers’ last contract expired Aug. 31.