Around 180 local educators lined Main Street Kindersley on Monday for another day of Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation job action. Monday's demonstrations represented the second one-day strike for teachers, after the STF carried out it's initial day of job action one week ago on Tuesday, January 16.
Communication Chair for the Sun West Teachers’ Association Kim Froese shared a statement giving some perspective on the day and situation at-hand.
"Teachers headed back out into the cold today, as the government continues to refuse to engage in meaningful negotiations around the issues that we feel are the most important: classroom complexity, support, and safety," began Froese. "There are other issues on the table too, but so far the Minister of Education has stated these major issues are not the government’s responsibility."
The government's seemingly unwavering stance is disappointing news.
"It is so hard to hear this. Teachers voted in favour of job action because classrooms and teachers are at a breaking point, and we need contractual guarantees that these issues are going to be addressed."
Froese pointed to failing "band-aid" solutions as a reason.
"30-40 kids in a classroom with one teacher is not unheard of, lack of EAs and subs are constant issues, and teachers are continually asked to individualize programming as a means of handling the range of learner abilities and issues. There’s only so much one person can do - especially when you’re trying to keep up with the other demands of the job.
"Teachers are burning out; we feel every cutback and each additional expectation placed on us to make up the difference. We would certainly rather be in our classrooms than out here, but we know that what we are asking for is not beyond the scope or capabilities of our government, and so we are not giving up."
The teachers strike-efforts are not going un-noticed. Froese commented on the excellent support seen from the community and local businesses.
"It has been pretty incredible to see the support we have out there. The parents and community have been awesome, and a huge thank you needs to go out to all the people who have offered support to the teachers - writing letters, bringing coffee, honking, sending messages of encouragement! And thank you to the businesses who opened their doors to let us warm up!"
Find photos, video, and more from Monday's demonstrations in the related stories section below.