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Teachers announce more lunch strikes as Sask. government rejects binding arbitration

Saskatchewan teachers have announced another set of rotating lunch strikes on Monday and Tuesday next week, as their job action continues. (Heywood Yu/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Saskatchewan teachers have announced another set of rotating lunch strikes on Monday and Tuesday next week, as their job action continues. (Heywood Yu/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Teachers in certain school divisions will refuse voluntary lunch duties on Monday and Tuesday, the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation (STF) announced Friday, the latest in more than two months of rotating job action.

On Monday, teachers in all schools in the Regina Catholic, North East and Prairie Spirit school divisions will refuse supervision and other voluntary duties over the noon hour, according to the STF.

And on Tuesday, the following school divisions will do the same:

  • Christ the Teacher Catholic School Division.

  • Good Spirit School Division.

  • Île-à-la-Crosse School Division.

  • Northern Lights School Division.

  • Prairie South School Division.

  • South East Cornerstone School Division.

  • Sun West School Division.

  • Living Sky School Division.

  • Light of Christ Catholic School Division.

  • Sakewew High School in North Battleford.

The announcement comes a day after the Sask. Party government declined the STF's invitation to enter binding arbitration on provisions for class size and complexity, a proposal endorsed by the NDP opposition.

On Thursday, the STF said it would cease all job action and return to the bargaining table if the government agreed to binding arbitration on those limited issues.

"Government's refusal to participate in arbitration means, regrettably, that job action will continue," the STF said in a news release on Friday.

Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill and Premier Scott Moe have maintained class size and complexity do not belong in the collective agreement, and the government announced a rare pre-budget funding agreement with school divisions to address those challenges.

However, teachers have said the deal does not guarantee the money will be used to increase supports for students, and say those issues need to be addressed in their contract to ensure the funding can't be clawed back in the future.