Saskatchewan Teacher' Federation suspends contract talks amid board dispute

Five members' seats currently remain empty
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 10/16/2017
Labour relations
The federation has filed an application in court to force the government to appoint board members and the case is to be heard in Saskatoon on Oct. 24. GOOGLE STREET VIEW

REGINA (CP) — The head of the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation says there's no point in continuing contract negotiations without a functioning Educational Relations Board in place.

Patrick Maze says that's why talks on a new collective agreement for the province's 13,000 teachers have been suspended.

The Educational Relations Board, which arbitrates disputes and settles grievances, is supposed to consist of five members, but all five spots are currently empty.

Maze says it's too risky to continue contract talks without a board because there would be no mechanism to guarantee the fair and transparent implementation and monitoring of teacher collective bargaining agreements.

He says the provincial government is dragging its feet.

The federation has filed an application in court to force the government to appoint board members and the case is to be heard in Saskatoon on Oct. 24.

“We have had no direct contact with the ministry since filing a court application to force the appointment of members to the Board, so we simply have no idea what their plans are,” Maze said in a news release Wednesday.

“I find the government's lack of commitment to ensuring a fair and just process to be quite troubling.”

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