Creighton-based members of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) hit the picket line for a third time Wednesday as part of a rolling set of teachers’ strikes across the province.
A new round of teacher strikes were announced Feb. 4, including STF members and Creighton Teachers’ Association members working for the Creighton School Division.
The strike will take place for one day, Feb. 7, with plans similar to those of one day strikes by STF members Jan. 16 and 22 - striking teachers will be on Creighton Avenue in front of the Prospector Inn, holding signs and keeping the line.
Other strikes have been held since Jan. 29, when the STF instituted a set of rolling one-day strikes for members in several Saskatchewan school divisions.
Along with Creighton, teachers in the Northern Lights School Division, Prairie Spirit School Division, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools and Saskatoon Public Schools are doing the same, taking a one-day strike Feb. 7. The move means teachers in almost all northern Saskatchewan schools are walking a picket line Wednesday - only members of the Ile-a-la-Crosse Teachers’ Association will stay on the job.
STF members will also carry out a one-day province-wide withdrawal of all noon-hour supervision of students Feb. 8, meaning teachers will leave the building for lunch instead of monitoring students - a job that teachers often do, but usually on a volunteer, unpaid basis.
The STF has issued a statement calling for families and caregivers to contact MLAs and school board trustees to try and bring the provincial government’s bargaining committee back to the table with the union.
The goal of the newest round of strikes, much like the one-day strikes held by the STF earlier this month, are meant to call the province back to the table. In a statement released Jan. 11 announcing the union’s intent to strike, STF leadership said problems with Saskatchewan education and a lack of movement from the province in negotiations are prime reasons for the strikes. Discussions on reducing class sizes, increasing workloads on teachers and class complexity - compounding issues relating to lack of supplies resource funding - have gone nowhere.
The STF has worked without a new contract since their last one lapsed last year and the union has not ruled out further job actions if talks don’t move ahead.
“Government thinks they can wait us out, but they have failed to account for the most important factors. Teachers are fed up and are united. There is strong and growing support for the action we’re taking because students, parents, businesses and communities know we all deserve better,” said STF president Samantha Becotte.
“People are witnessing the crisis unfolding in public schools, and they are not being fooled by the government’s spin. We need the government to catch up with the people of this province. It is beyond time government returns to the table ready to actually negotiate, so we can work together on real solutions.”