ATA News

Funding at issue for teachers across Canada


Saskatchewan teachers are beginning a broad-scale work-to-rule campaign after negotiations  have, once again, reached an impasse. Last month, teachers  have rejected a second offer from the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) and the Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee. 

The three-year tentative agreement proposed an additional $18 million per year to address classroom complexity and salary increases totalling eight per cent over three years. However, in a vote on May 29 and 30, 55 per cent of teachers voted against the agreement. 

“The result of this vote is a message to the government and the Saskatchewan School Boards Association that teachers need to see real changes to classroom complexity and compensation,” said STF president Samantha Becotte.

The first offer, voted down by 90 per cent of teachers on May 8 and 9, led to resumed negotiations and the tentative agreement announced on May 17. Despite the agreement’s provisions for additional classroom complexity funding and increased transparency, teachers felt their priorities were not adequately addressed. 

“The STF executive and I will do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to get a deal done with the support of our collective to strengthen our profession and public education for current and future students,” Becotte said. 


Bargaining for the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) has concluded with an arbitrated settlement for the 2022–2026 collective agreement. 

Wage gains include an 11.73 per cent increase for teachers and occasional teachers and a $1 per hour annual boost for education workers. An additional 7.41 per cent addresses wage freezes from Bill 124 legislation. 

OSSTF president Karen Littlewood stated, “Overall, this agreement is unquestionably a win for us — and a resounding indictment of the Ford government’s education policy.

Meanwhile, an arbitration decision has granted Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario members, including occasional teachers, an 11.73 per cent salary increase over four years, retroactive to 2022, surpassing the government’s proposed 1.25 per cent increase.

Nova Scotia

On May 22 , Nova Scotia’s public school teachers ratified a new contract with the province, with 91 per cent of teachers voting 80.5 per cent in favor. The agreement includes an 11.47 per cent salary increase over three years, retroactive to August 1, 2023, and a 12 per cent raise for substitute teachers. It addresses working conditions, classroom conditions and the teacher retention crisis. It also adds more counselors to schools. 

“This agreement contains several important gains for teachers ... it is a fair agreement that serves as a solid steppingstone to future progress,” said Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union president Ryan Lutes.

“This would not have been possible without the strength and solidarity members demonstrated when they provided the bargaining team with an overwhelming strike mandate earlier this spring.”

What does this mean for Alberta? 

The ATA’s chief negotiator, Sean Brown, says that teachers nationwide are united against underfunding, advocating for improved conditions and proper funding to address student growth.

“While some jurisdictions have existing class size/complexity provisions in their respective collective agreements, not all do. The common thread is teachers fighting to improve their working conditions because they know these are also students’ learning conditions.”

Brown says that Alberta teachers have previously accepted stagnant wages during economic challenges, yet today’s teaching demands, which encompass diverse student needs, require salaries that are more appropriate with the expectations.

“Teachers had done their part in past rounds when it came to accepting increases below inflation or agreeing to take zeros when provincial coffers were challenged.” ❚