The Saskatchewan Teachers Federation is calling for binding arbitration, a possible solution to the rift between them and the Sask. party government.  

If Scott Moe's government agrees to this move, settling to address the issues of class size and complexity, it would allow the STF to immediately lift all job action, resuming normal teaching practices. 

Samanatha Becotte, the president of the STF, believes that their demands on these key issues are fair, and that they can reach an agreement in good faith. 

"We are putting forward a fair, objective and neutral path to resolve this single-issue dispute," said Becotte in a recent written release. "If the government agrees to binding arbitration for class size and complexity, we will return to negotiations and all extracurricular activities, including Hoopla, band festivals, trips and graduation celebrations, can proceed."

Binding arbitration would see both parties needing to agree to the effort before it could begin, as it was amended in 2017 by the provincial government so that no one side could trigger it alone. 

For months now, rolling walkouts have occurred, with strikes occupying the likes of Central Avenue North Swift Current. Swift Current MLA, Everett Hindley, has had his office's front door crowded with signs, chants, and calls for his colleague Jeremy Cockrill, Minister of Education, to help find a solution to class size and complexity. 

Previously, negotiations between the STF and the province have broken down, after the province failed to even show up at one of their meetings. 

This time, the binding arbitration would force a resolution to be reached by both sides. 

"To put this in clear terms: if the government refuses binding arbitration, then Minister Cockrill and Premier Moe are choosing to cancel school trips, graduation planning, band festivals, Hoopla and so many more of this year’s activities that bring joy to our students and school communities," said Becotte. 

The STF is giving the province a deadline of Mar. 17, 2024, to agree to enter binding arbitration. 

Becotte and the teachers remain firm in that if the job action is to continue, they will only be increasing their efforts. 

"We’re asking Minister Cockrill to agree so that we can resolve," said Becotte. "Every day the Minister delays his decision means students are missing out on more activities, lost deposits and the cancellation of events."