Sask. government supports conciliation in teacher contract dispute
Education Minister Don Morgan expresses disappointment after teachers reject contract
The Saskatchewan government is OK with having a conciliator help get a deal with the province's teachers, Education Minister Don Morgan says.
On Monday, the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation announced that about 63 per cent of teachers rejected the most recent tentative agreement.
That agreement would have resulted in a 7.3 per cent wage increase over four years and a $700 lump-sum payment.
However, many teachers believe the money offer was too low. They have also raised concerns about workload and other non-monetary issues.
How much are teachers paid?
Under the last STF contract, which expired Aug. 31, 2013, teachers are paid between $42,929 and $88,347 a year. The amount varies depending on education and years of service.
Monday's announcement concerned the second tentative agreement. An earlier deal hammered out by the STF and the government-school board bargaining committee was rejected by a majority of teachers last fall.
The STF has applied for conciliation -- a non-binding process where a third party tries to help the two sides bridge their differences -- and Morgan said the government agrees that's the way to move forward.
Morgan said the fact that two tentative contracts have been rejected by STF membership means there is some work to do internally between teachers and their union.
But he also says there is work for the government to do as it tries to look at things from the teachers' perspective.
"There's still a huge level of frustration and a huge level where they don't feel that they're understood or appreciated," Morgan said. "I think it's a work in progress and it's work that I have to do."