ATA News

Sask teachers navigate impasse

STF fighting to address class size and composition

The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) is hoping the conciliation process can resolve its current deadlock with the provincial government around contract negotiations. 

“We are united, we are prepared, and we are ready to fight for our colleagues, our students, and the families who are struggling in underfunded and under-resourced public schools across Saskatchewan,” said STF president Samantha Becotte to CTV News in November.

In October, more than 95 per cent of Saskatchewan teachers voted in favour of potential job actions up to and including a strike. The outcome empowers the STF executive to consider sanctions if deemed necessary between now and June 30, 2024.

The STF had declared an impasse in negotiations, pointing to the government’s rejection of nine out of 10 teacher proposals, specifically regarding classroom size and composition.

As the impasse in contract negotiations persists, the STF and the provincial government have entered the conciliation process, aiming to bridge the gap in their ongoing negotiations. 

“We do not want to be in this position, but government’s disrespect toward teachers, their bad faith bargaining tactics and their intransigence — not just through the bargaining process, but their continued refusal to make students and public education a priority — has forced us into our current path,” Becotte said.

The STF has been adamant about including issues of class size and class complexity in a new collective agreement. However, the province contends that school divisions are best suited to manage these aspects, citing feedback from the 27 school divisions. Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill reiterated this stance in October, emphasizing that it’s not a term they are seeking in a bargaining agreement.

With the conciliation process in motion, Becotte reiterated the STF’s willingness to return to the negotiating table for meaningful discussions. The key condition is the government’s commitment to address the pressing issues of class size and complexity.

Becotte highlighted the success of four “mini rallies” held outside the constituency offices of certain cabinet members, attributing the remarkable turnout to public awareness of the vital role of public education and acknowledgment of the challenges stemming from years of underfunding in Saskatchewan. 

Her words

Samantha Becotte, President of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation:

“We have had nine days at the table. We’ve had hours of presentations, hundreds of pages of research, and countless testimonials from teachers about their experiences in schools, but through all of this, the government has not moved from its original position.”


“We’re hopeful that the conciliation process will be successful. But the results of this vote send a very clear message. We are united, we are prepared and we are ready to fight for our colleagues, our students, and the families who are struggling in underfunded and under-resourced public schools across Saskatchewan.”

“Teachers want to negotiate a fair deal at the bargaining table. I want our government to finally listen to what teachers are telling them with this vote: Enough is enough.”