There won’t be a return to the bargaining table until the Government of Saskatchewan comes up with a clear mandate that allows for bargaining in good faith. That’s the word from the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Bargaining Committee (TBC) as they decline an overture to return from the Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee, delivered via a release on Friday morning.  

“The GTBC asked the TBC back to the bargaining table either today or next week. The TBC indicated it is always ready to negotiate and meet at any time and asked if the GTBC had a renewed mandate. The GTBC stated it did not have a renewed mandate; therefore, the TBC has declined this invitation. The TBC reiterated that it is prepared to return to the table at any time but expect the GTBC to have authority to negotiate on all issues of importance to teachers and Saskatchewan families,” says STF President Samantha Becotte. 

The release goes on to say that “the STF remains disappointed in the government’s bargaining tactics. At the same time as government is limiting the authority of its negotiators, Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill is stating in an interview that if the STF “isn’t ready to talk about the issues on the table, then what’s the point of meeting?” 

“Teachers want to be at the bargaining table and making progress toward an agreement. However, the Minister’s statement leads us to believe there’s no value in meeting if the GTBC isn’t ready to discuss issues that are important to teachers. When the GTBC has a new mandate and is prepared to discuss all of the issues, including class size and complexity, we are ready to return day or night,” Becotte says. 

The release comes as teachers mount job action in the form of noon hour supervision withdrawal and rotating strikes on the final day of classes before the February break.