Teachers Participate in Grad 2024

The cancellation of work-to-rule sanctions effective 4:00 p.m. on Friday, June 14, meant that teachers could participate and celebrate with the 2024 graduating class at Wakaw that evening. Saskatchewan Teachers Federation President, Samantha Becotte, announced early Friday afternoon, “Our consultation with members indicates that teachers see binding arbitration as the best path to an agreement that will take steps to address class complexity and also provide students, families, and teachers with stability for the rest of this school year and into the fall.”

Based on numerous member consultations throughout the week, approximately three-quarters of the members consistently saw binding arbitration as the best path forward. The Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee (GTBC) offered binding arbitration on the issue of wages and the accountability framework after the Teachers’ Bargaining Committee (TBC) declared a bargaining impasse on June 5. It was rejected as it did not include class complexity and the proposal was revised to include class complexity-accountability framework and wages. The Teacher Bargaining Committee has confirmation from the Government Trustee Bargaining Committee that the agreed-upon language for the joint submission would request binding arbitration for “wages and class complexity-accountability framework.” The next step in the process is for an arbitrator to be appointed, followed by a hearing where both sides will present their case.

Principal of Wakaw School, Darryl Dickson, said on Sunday, June 9th “We are hopeful that the government bargaining committee will return to the table with the STF so that sanctions can be lifted, and we can have a traditional graduation ceremony. We are planning to have everything in place so that a parent committee will be able to run the ceremony if the teaching staff is still unable to take part.” With the sanctions being lifted, Dickson was at the podium leading the ceremonies for this, his final year at Wakaw.

Also occurring on June 14th were graduation ceremonies at St. Louis Community School, École Saint Isidore-de-Bellevue School, and One Arrow First Nation Almightyvoice Education Centre. Still to come this month is the graduation ceremony at Cudworth School.

Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wakaw Recorder