Saskatchewan teachers accept new contract

Only two thirds of the province's 12,600 teachers in favour of agreement
||Last Updated: 09/29/2011

Saskatchewan teachers have voted 66.1 per cent in favour of accepting the tentative agreement their union reached with the provincial government. A total of 12,637 teachers, who belong to the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF), took part in the vote.

“Throughout this process, teachers continued to express their strong commitment to students, the publicly funded education system and to each other,” said Gwen Dueck, chief spokesperson for the Teachers’ Bargaining Committee. "We celebrate teachers’ professional conduct and support for their colleagues.”

Details of the contract will be released after a ratification vote to be held next week, but wages were the key issues in negotiations over the summer. At that time, the Saskatchewan School Boards Association and the provincial government were offering a 5.5 per cent wage increase over three years, while the union was demanding a 16 per cent raise over the three years.

The two sides have agreed to a mediator’s recommendation that teachers receive a general wage hike of 5.5 per cent over three years, as well as market adjustments based on the average teacher salaries in Manitoba, British Columbia and Alberta. Teachers at the bottom end of the pay scale will receive an additional five per cent market adjustment, while those at the top of the pay scale will see a market adjustment of 3.34 per cent.

Additionally, teachers will reach the top of the pay grid at year 11, as opposed to taking 15 years to reach that point.

In May 2011, the STF voted 95 per cent in favour of striking. The teachers walked off the job for three days that month before returning to the classroom and withdrawing all voluntary services.

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