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Thursday, 19 May 2011 16:16

STF, Government: No deal

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Negotiations between the Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee and the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation broke down again Thursday afternoon after only three days back at the bargaining table.


“The Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee entered into this latest round of bargaining in good faith,” Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee spokesperson Sandi Urban-Hall said. “We indicated that while there was some financial flexibility within the context of competitive compensation it would require significant movement from the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation demand of a 12 per cent increase over one year.”


The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation came back to the table with an increase of 16.3 per cent over three years.


“This new demand of 16.3 per cent demonstrates the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation is unwilling to negotiate. Bargaining has now broken down for a second time.” Urban-Hall said.


Students and their families will be notified by school divisions on any contingency plans in place to support them in the event of job sanctions.


“Our first concern is for the safety and well-being of our students,” Urban-Hall said. “We are formally requesting that the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation offer assurances that any job sanctions employed between now and the end of the school year do not affect the ability of our Grade 12 students to receive their diploma and move on to post-secondary education opportunities in September.”


When determining offers of compensation, the Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee does a thorough analysis of compensation packages for teachers from all other provinces as well as supply and demand pressures. While yearly fluctuations in the Consumer Price Index do not drive offers of compensation, in recent years teachers have seen greater increases in salary than increases to the cost of living.


Since 1997, the cost of living measured by CPI has gone up 33.1 per cent. While teacher pay increases have not matched changes in the Consumer Price Index each and every year, during this same time period teacher salaries have gone up by 59.5 per cent at the bottom of the scale and 53.2 per cent at the top. 


“We have made an offer to the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation that, if ratified, would make Saskatchewan teachers among the highest paid in Canadian provinces,” Urban-Hall said. “The Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee is disappointed that negotiations with the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation have broken down for the second time.”


The Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee is comprised of representatives from both the Government of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan School Boards Association. The committee is responsible for representing the interests of both the publicly funded school system and the employer in bargaining negotiations with the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation. The Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee has successfully negotiated provincial collective agreements for teachers in Saskatchewan for more than 30 years.


Additional information on compensation can be found at www.skteacherbargaining.ca.

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