The Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation (STF) held a press conference this morning to answer questions about next week's planned job action. 

Samantha Becotte, president of the STF, addressed a recent invitation to return to the table. "We did talk about the invitation on Wednesday when we met with the Minister of Education, and he foreshadowed that we would receive one this Friday as well, but we asked him to consider bringing a renewed mandate with that invitation. They don't have anything new to discuss beyond what was included in the mandate a month ago."

Mid press conference, Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill issued the following statement:

I am extremely disappointed by today’s decision by the union leadership to continue targeting extracurricular activities across our province. While it was heartening to see teachers, students and parents work together to ensure some activities continued despite the STF’s sanctions, we want to ensure students aren’t negatively impacted any further.

As I indicated publicly yesterday, work has been underway to find a path forward with the teachers’ union. Not only have we moved on many of the items that the STF has asked for, but we are also prepared to create an accountability framework connected to the historic multiyear funding agreement.

If the union leadership wants teachers to be a part of that process, they need to stop focusing their efforts on disrupting learning and cancelling activities, and start focusing their efforts on bargaining. That is the same message I delivered to union leadership earlier this week.

I will have more to say next week on how we are working to ensure that students get the opportunities they so deserve, including graduation.

Becotte addressed the accountability framework in the statement. "This is a step forward that is part of what we're seeking, but we want to ensure that teachers are part of that process. As I said, they are the ones who are working with students day in and day out. They understand the needs of their classroom, they understand the needs of their school, and of schools in their local school division."