ATA News

Your Saskatchewan colleagues support you


Teachers believe passionately in the value of high-quality public education. As president of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF), I have the privilege of sharing that commitment to students and learning with more than 13,500 teachers across my province.

During the past 11 months, the contributions of Saskatchewan teachers have been challenged during collective bargaining with the provincial government. Despite this, members of our federation have demonstrated a high degree of solidarity and recognition that these negotiations will shape the future of our profession and the future of more than 200,000 students across the province.

This round of bargaining has been part of a multi-year process since members agreed to the last provincial contract in May 2020. Four years ago, teachers already had significant concerns about class complexity and working conditions, so it came as no surprise those were the top issues identified during member consultations ahead of the current negotiations.

When negotiations began in May 2023, the Teacher’s Bargaining Committee understood it would be difficult. The TBC’s proposals to address class size and complexity, compensation, classroom violence and other issues were presented in the spirit of initiating good-faith bargaining. What we learned is that the government had no interest in engaging in back-and-forth negotiations. Almost before our proposals were presented, billboards appeared with inaccurate salary information in an attempt to portray teachers as greedy. We soon discovered that the only word government negotiators knew was NO.

The intransigence demonstrated by the committee of government and school board negotiators has defined this round of collective bargaining, but it has also inspired an overwhelming degree of solidarity among our members because of our belief in open, transparent communication around negotiations. During a long and difficult year, teachers have remained committed to our cause, and they have continued to show up for each other in ways we could hardly imagine. During public rallies, strike days, withdrawal of voluntary services and work-to-rule, STF members have acted collectively, decisively and always with integrity. Our members have sacrificed much in their efforts to improve the quality of education and supports available to students, and despite setbacks, they have not wavered. 

The commitment of STF members to improving learning and teaching conditions has resonated with the public, and the issues facing education are driving the conversation in our province. As a result of our advocacy, parents and caregivers now recognize how class size and complexity affect learning, and they are better informed about their child’s experience. We have experienced vocal support for the work of teachers and the needs of education. Elected officials have received more than 400,000 emails and calls urging them to respond to the needs of students. Hundreds of people joined teachers during rallies and on the picket lines; contributions have come from labour groups, businesses and community organizations; and thousands of individuals have shared our message on social media — the people of Saskatchewan have demonstrated solidarity with our fight.

The tenor of collective bargaining has unfortunately done little to ease the concerns of teachers. The provincial government has demonstrated a lack of understanding of the importance of well-supported public education, and it lacks transparency when it comes to funding. The government has made multiple efforts to submarine the bargaining process, including an outside-the-contract agreement with the Saskatchewan School Boards Association, new pilot projects and the announcement of “record” education funding two weeks ahead of the provincial budget. We have remained firm despite this disrespect. The government’s attempts to create a wedge between members and Federation leadership have failed. We are one and the same; we are all teachers, and our members remain united in the belief that students and teachers deserve better.

The Federation has been guided by our members throughout this process. Beginning with pre-bargaining consultation, we have listened to, communicated with, and worked to engage and inform members about every step. As I write this message, we are preparing to vote on what the government bargaining committee has termed its “final offer.” Whatever the result, we believe in the strength of our membership. Our commitment as a federation is to ensure members have the voice to determine their future.

As Alberta teachers look ahead to their own collective bargaining process, I offer you the support of your Saskatchewan colleagues and the lessons of our experience. In the same way that you have offered your solidarity, we will support your work to improve the teaching and learning conditions in Alberta schools and will join you in the ongoing effort to ensure high-quality public education for every student. ❚

Portrait of young women with long dark hair
Samantha Becotte


Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation