For the first time, the government is refusing to fund the cost of the duly bargained teachers’ agreement.
“This is a significant precedent that the government is setting. They had a responsibility to fund teachers, and they have entirely disregarded it. We know that this move ultimately shortchanges classrooms and it is going to have an adverse affect on students," said NDP Education critic Carla Beck.
In a committee meeting on Monday night, the Education Minister said that each and every year, the government fully funded the cost of the collective bargaining agreements with teachers. That would mean fully funding the previously agreed upon deal that saw teachers receive a 1.9 per cent increase this year – a deal that government helped negotiate and signed off on. However, on Monday, the Minister admitted that government was only planning to fund 0.5 per cent.
Beck said that without the additional funds to support collective bargained agreements, Saskatchewan schools will have to cut teachers and support staff, increase the size of classrooms, or make other tough choices about the supports and programming that our students will receive.
“This government scrapped the mid-year funding adjustment, and since then, Saskatchewan families and educators have seen nothing but cuts and clawbacks,” Beck said. “Our teachers and our kids deserve better than a minister who turns his back on his signature.”