It was a slimmer marginal, but Saskatchewan teachers voted ‘no’ to the tentative collective bargaining agreement put forward by the Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee and the Teacher Bargaining Committee. 

Saskatchewan Teachers Federation members voted 55 per cent to reject the offer. Eighty-eight per cent of eligible teachers voted. 

The agreement put forward to the teachers was a three-year deal from Sept. 1, 2023, to Aug. 31, 2026.   

It included accountability framework for a Memorandum of Understanding that would be signed between the STF, the provincial government and the Saskatchewan School Boards Association around classroom size and complexity.  

It would have also created a “Minister’s Task Force on Classroom Complexity” made up of teachers, parents and students. 

The tentative agreement was endorsed by the STF senior executive. With that being said, STF president Samantha Becotte feels Saskatchewan teachers have not lost confidence in the union. 

“We are confident that we can continue to advocate for our teachers and fight for public education right alongside them,” Becotte said. 

“I go back to that sanctions vote as well. We had 95 per cent of members voting in favour of continuing to take action if necessary and that shows that we are united in the fight for public education.” 

Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill released the following statement following the results of the vote: 

“I am disappointed by the result of the vote that will reject not only a fair agreement negotiated between government, school divisions and the STF, but one that was endorsed and recommended by the STF executive senior leadership. We will have more to say about next steps very soon.” 

On Friday morning, the education minister suggested binding arbitration for the latest offer. The STF called for binding arbitration about a month ago, but Cockrill said at that time that there was still room to negotiate at the bargaining table. 

"Given the fact that we've been at the bargaining table, we've made progress there, what we are hearing from the people of this province is they want clarity going forward and I think binding arbitration presents the best opportunity for that going forward," Cockrill said during media availability in Saskatoon on Friday morning.

Becotte did not rule it out but would like to try and hammer out a deal at the bargaining table first. 

“We would love to get back to the table and start negotiating with the government provided that they give the GBC a renewed mandate to address classroom complexity,” said Becotte.  

“But, if they’re not willing to engage in those conversations and that good faith back and forth conversations, then binding arbitration could be an option for a path forward.” 

The Government-Bargaining Committee has accepted the Teachers' Bargaining Committee's invitation to return to the bargaining table. Negotiations are scheduled to resume on Wednesday, June 5. 

The teacher will not implement sanctions while negotiations are taking place. If there is an impasse, sanctions will be imposed with 48 hours' notice.