Government Offers Added Salary Increase To Saskatchewan Teachers And Funds For Class Size And Composition
The Government of Saskatchewan has a new offer for Saskatchewan’s teachers which will put their salary well above the Western Canadian average for teachers’ salaries, and provide them with a four-year deal which will provide stability to the education system.
The offer of a $1,500 one-time payment for teachers in the first year and a 2.0 per cent salary increase in each of the next three years will mean teachers are making 105 per cent of the Western Canadian average. This is in addition to the 1.0 per cent salary increase that teachers received on August 31, 2019, the last day of the previous contract.
In addition to this offer, the government has committed funds that will be applied to composition challenges that have been identified by Saskatchewan teachers. A Class Size and Composition Committee, which was formed last fall, has met several times to develop a framework for class size and composition. The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) was invited to participate however, chose not to.
“I encourage teachers to participate in this important committee as they work daily with students and understand the composition issue very clearly,” Deputy Premier and Education Minister Gordon Wyant said. “I urge the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation to select teacher representatives to join this committee, which I am prepared to reformat for this important discussion.”
This offer balances the government’s appreciation and respect of teachers with the responsible fiscal management that taxpayers expect and other unions have accepted. During the last collective bargaining process, the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation requested arbitration. During the most recent bargaining talks, the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation requested conciliation. Neither the arbitrator nor the conciliator indicated that class size and composition should be included within the teachers’ collective bargaining agreement.
There is opportunity for the parties to address these issues at the local level which is more appropriate given the vast differences in the needs of individual schools.