Teachers want meeting with premier
Patrick Maze has been reelected as the president of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation and he’s calling for a “face-to-face” meeting with Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall to discuss uncertainty in the province’s education sector.
First elected in 2015, Maze served as the president of the Regina Public Schools Teachers’ Association before taking lead of the association that represents Saskatchewan teachers, with the re-election in 2017 marking the start of his third term with the organization which has an estimated 13,000 members.
Maze was elected at the STFs’ annual meeting of council, which was held in Saskatoon in late April. In a release distributed by the STF on April 28, he said this is “the most instability he has witnessed in the education sector in 20 years.”
The 2017-18 provincial budget saw overall funding in the sector fall by 6.7 per cent when compared to last year’s budget.
Despite the fact Education Minister Don Morgan has said on numerous occasions that Saskatchewan students are his ministry’s No. 1 priority, challenging divisions to find cost savings outside the classroom, Maze argues the government sees the sector “as an expense line in the budget rather than an investment in the future of the youth of the province.”
“It’s the age-old problem that (the government doesn’t) see the returns in a four-year cycle and this is a government that likes to get elected. But, they are shortchanging students and they are not listening to teachers,” he stated in the release.
“Teachers do their best work when they are consulted and feel supported, and right now those two factors are lacking. It just adds to instability and the stress level for our members.”
Maze’s re-election comes just a few weeks ahead of when school boards, the government and the STF are set to commence negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement, as the current agreement is set to expire on Aug. 31. In the release, Maze said he’s looking forward to upcoming bargaining process.
Under the Education Act, negotiations must start 100 days prior to the expiration of the current agreement. Postmedia News