“The honeymoon is over”: NDP stands up for teachers, Sask. Party leadership won’t

In response to yesterday’s war of words between the provincial government and the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation (STF), NDP Education Critic and Deputy Leader Carla Beck renewed her call for the province to fully restore education funding to 2016 levels, and called for predictable, stable funding for our classrooms going forward.

“Both the Premier and the Deputy Premier ran on promises to invest in education, and as a result, teachers played kingmaker through their organized participation in the leadership race,” said NDP Deputy Leader and Education Critic Carla Beck. “Moe and Wyant’s failure to follow through on those commitments shows the cynicism with which they approached their relationship with teachers.”

“The honeymoon is over for our province’s teachers. It’s clear that this government neither knows nor cares how to do the work that needs to be done in the education sector,” said Beck.

Saskatchewan schools have seen a $74 million funding shortfall over the last two years. An arbitrator recently handed teachers a wage settlement that leaves them falling behind the rising cost of living.

“The arbitrator has spoken bluntly about the deteriorated relationship and its impact on the quality of our kids’ education, but yesterday Mr. Wyant dismissed those concerns and misrepresented what happened at the bargaining table to the media,” said Beck. “The blatant disrespect this former leadership candidate has shown for the teachers whose support he ran on is mind-boggling. Wyant’s misrepresentation of the bargaining process shows he’s more concerned with toeing the Sask. Party line than with doing what’s right for teachers and students. He’s now as much of a pawn of the Sask. Party as teachers were in the leadership race.”

“Investing in education is both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “This government’s harmful cuts to education show that Sask. Party decisions are driven more by ideology than what they have repeatedly been told by parents, teachers, and students about what is happening.”