Premier announces $180M increase to Sask. education operating budget in bid to end teacher job action

Premier announces 0M increase to Sask. education operating budget in bid to end teacher job action

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has released a preview of the province’s education budget in an attempt to get the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation to drop its ongoing job action. 

Teachers in the province have been without a contract since August and have been carrying out rotating one-day strikes and withdrawals of services.

The latest job action is slated for Friday, with teachers to withdraw from noon-hour supervision in specific areas of the province, including Saskatoon and Regina.

Moe took to social media on Wednesday, announcing in a video that the province’s upcoming budget would “include the largest increase in school operating funding ever in Saskatchewan’s history.”

“This should clearly demonstrate our government’s commitment to address teachers concerns around classroom supports,” Moe said. 

Moe said the operating funding would increase by $180 million from last year’s budget, to a total of $2.2 billion. That would be an increase of nine per cent, he said. 

Moe said $45 million of the $180 million would be dedicated to classroom supports. That’s an increase of 15 per cent since last year, he said.

“That is a record budget to address classroom size and complexity, and we will continue to work very closely with our school divisions to ensure that this record investment is used where it is needed the most,” Moe said. 

Moe said his reason for announcing the education budget ahead of the entire budget being tabled in the legislature is so that the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) would pause job action and return to the bargaining table. 

WATCH| Teachers in Regina rally at Sask. legislature:

Teachers in Regina rally at Sask. legislature

Teachers are picketing once again as part of rotating strikes. This time teachers in Regina took to the legislative building for their demands to heard. CBC’s Tyreike Reid has more.

STF critical of ‘ad-hoc funding’

For its part, the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation says the education system can not work properly by relying on ad-hoc, politically motivated financial announcements.

“We will not return to the bargaining table until government and Saskatchewan School Boards Association are willing to include a firm, irrevocable commitment in the collective agreement,” the STF said in a statement late Wednesday night.

It says election-year budgets and commitments from politicians can be clawed back or cut a year later; and they are not the same as negotiating a binding contract.

The province and the STF have been at an impasse on contract negotiations. 

The STF has called for the province to address class complexity and class size in the contract. 

Moe and Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill have repeatedly said they those issues should be dealt with at a school division level, not in the teachers’ collective contract. 

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Sask. teachers to escalate job action despite province's pledge to increase education funding

Sat Mar 9 , 2024
Saskatchewan teachers say they will be escalating their job action despite an announcement by the premier to make the “largest increase in school operating funding ever in Saskatchewan’s history.” Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) president Samantha Becotte said the decision by Premier Scott Moe to pre-empt the March 20 provincial budget in a social media video on […]
Sask. teachers to escalate job action despite province’s pledge to increase education funding

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