Saskatchewan teachers to walkout Thursday -

Saskatchewan teachers to walkout Thursday

Union wants one-time 12 per cent raise


Teachers in Saskatchewan plan to walk off the job on Thursday for a “study day and rally” after 95 per cent voted in favour of job action last week. The Saskatchewan Teacher’s Federation wants a 12 per cent increase in pay over the next year. The province’s school boards have offered 5.5 per cent over three years. Alberta’s teachers currently make 20 per cent more than their colleagues to the east. The teachers say they will return to class Friday.

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Saskatchewan teachers to walkout Thursday

  1. what a bunch of crying babies! a ‘one-time’ raise my a$$.
    go back to work and quit your crying already!

    • What a terrible comment! What if your colleagues from a different province made 20% more than you for doing the same job… the only difference being the province you work in? I’m sure you’d be making the same demands.

      Perhaps if the teachers that taught you were paid more and given the respect they deserve, you’d have been better equipt to reply to this article! You have no capitals on your sentences, misuse dollar signs in an attempt to cover up poor language choices, and the phrase is “cry babies”.

      • “Perhaps if the teachers that taught you were paid more and given the respect they deserve, you’d have been better equipt to reply to this article! You have no capitals on your sentences, misuse dollar signs in an attempt to cover up poor language choices, and the phrase is “cry babies”.”

        Couldn’t have said it better myself.

      • You mean the same colleagues being laid off due to budget cuts directly related to salary? Those ones?

        I suggest these teachers try to get jobs in Alberta when Calgary just laid off 400+ teachers.

      • That’s ridiculous! The cost of living varies in different geographic areas, a teacher in Toronto has to make more than someone in Saskatchewan just to pay their utility bill. Find a problem with my grammar or spelling? I found one with yours: it’s equipped, not equipt – and you call yourself a teacher…maybe that’s why you make 20% less!

    • Come and work in my school. We will soon see who the cry baby is.By the way, jbbs, this will be the first time in the history of Saskatchewan teacher that they have withheld services and it is only for one day.

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  4. Time for the govermnent to decertify this union and make them an essential service. WHy are taxpayers being held hostage like this?

    • You are absolutely right. The provincial government should give them the 12% so we can lure and keep good people in the profession. The government is the problem here. Make them an essential service and they will work to rule and the whole education of our children will fall apart because the teachers will never plan outside of school hours, no longer coach sports or provide outdoor educational experiences, won’t work noon hours supervising your children because you are too busy to go home and feed them over the lunch hour, and graduation programs will be left up to parents. Be careful what you ask for.

      • I would love to have my children come home for lunch, but our school does not allow the children to leave the school yard. If the children do leave to go to the local store to grab something to eat our teachers take their food away because they did not have permission to leave. I have offered many time to supervise at lunch because all the teachers complain about doing it. They have yet to take me up on my offer. As for Graduation I have had 4 children graduate and I have volunteered many hour to get things organized. You make it sound like all parents don’t care about their children. Be careful who you insult.

  5. So, because the teachers in Alberta make 20% more, the teachers in Saskatchewan should make the same? I think part of the reason that teachers in Alberta make more is that the cost of living in Alberta is so ridiculous. A lot of different jobs offer higher compensation in Alberta (look at how much an employee at Tim Horton’s makes in Fort McMurray vs. Prince Albert)..

    Also, not only is the cost of living, etc higher, but the gov’t (at least until recently) had a heck of a lot more money to play around with than the Saskatchewan gov’t does. Alberta had lots of money and could afford to offer higher salaries to attract people there.

    While I do think that it’s important to get a fair wage.. and it would be good for this all to be worked out.. I think everyone (BOTH SIDES) need to have some give and take.

    I often wonder if, with the higher costs of living, etc, if a particular worker in Alberta actually has LESS left over after rent, etc than a lower paid worker in Sask .. because of the lower cost of living here, etc.


    • Alberta makes 20% more, teachers are asking for 12% more, so no they do not think they should get the same. Also good to note that the 12% is not a 12% wage increase but is to be used for wages, benefits, and pensions out of that same amount. The cost of living in much of Saskatchewan is on par with Alberta. It cost the same for housing in big Alberta centres like Calgary and Edmonton as is does in Saskatoon and even big oil town like Kindersley. Not only is Saskatchewan’s cost of living similar to Alberta, the success of Saskatchewan’s economy is also now similar to Alberta.
      You should also realize that it is the government who has no give and take. Teachers have NEVER stated that 12% was a final offer, the government said 5.5 IS the final offer. The teachers have always been ready to get back to the table for negotiations.

  6. It’s OK, these teachers are helping pave the way for school vouchers. Teachers have forgotten who they work for, and their day of reckoning is LONG overdue. Public sector unions are a bizarre aberration in dire need of ablation. Who are they unionized against?

    I’m looking forward to our Wisconsin moment.

    • So the Canadian right-wing is going to follow the same path as their Koch funded friends in the United States?

      It goes something like this:

      “1) Manufacture a fake budget crisis in order to frighten the state’s residents; 2) PR the false-crisis hard enough until it breaks out of the right-wing/libertarian pipeline and into the mainstream media; 3) Blame the fake crisis on a fake villain — “greedy” state employee unions — thereby pitting the public against state workers. That way, when Republicans pass new laws destroying teachers and firefighters unions, they’ll come off as heroes defending the public from greedy unions, rather than as sleazy mercenaries carrying out their corporate sponsors’ dirty work.” – from the Exile

      • Quoting conspiracy theories from The Bolshevik Quarterly doesn’t help your case. Yes, I look forward to a time when the unionized monopoly on education no longer holds the public hostage. Teachers should have the option of joining a union or not, and parents should have the choice of hiring unionized or independent teachers.

        People who dedicate their lives to destroying the free market are naturally aligned with public sector unions. Enjoy the ride – it’s going to get bumpy ;)

  7. I have the solution. Let the crying babies move to Alberta and get a job there. Get rid of the union. Hire Philippinos who are willing and capable of working. We need loyal employees in this Province, not losers who have more time off than anyone else. No wonder our kids are idiots, can’t write and read. They have become like their brainless teachers.

    • Personally, I would love to be able to just teach but I am too busy as a counselor, social worker, policeman, nurse, spiritual advisor, parent, and conflict resolver because parents can’t seem to find the time to do their jobs. Are you one of those parents? You certainly appear to be unaware of the qualities you leave your kids with every day. Ever considered home schooling? The province will pay you to do it and there are lots of tax benefits too.

      • I agree with you Bill. I would love to be able to just teach, but I am far too busy as a counselor, social worker, policeman, nurse, spirtual advisior, parent, behavioural specialist, occupational therapist, speech language pathologist, and nutrition specialist.
        I highly suggest for anyone who wants to talk about how “teachers get paid too much and only do your work for 8 montsh of the year” to do your research and ask yourself if you could do all of the above plus teach 20+ students who are all at different levels. Say what?? Can’t do it? Then stop complaining and notice that we are helping you ensure that your children turn out to be well rounded citizens!

  8. So they make more in Alberta, how about the 300 plus Calgary teachers that are getting let go because the Calgary Board of Education cant make its budget, careful what you wish for once you get the raise maybe you wont have a job!

  9. morning songs says: “Time for the govermnent(sic) to decertify this union and make them an essential service. WHy are taxpayers being held hostage like this?”

    BC’s essential service legislation was recently found unconstitutional – so maybe it’s not the answer to everything.

    By “held hostage,” do you mean spending a day with your child/ren instead of shipping them off on the high-priced babysitter. The people who are really underpaid and undervalued are the child care workers who, as far as early education goes, do the same job often with greater ability and care.

    I am dismayed, however, that this is what teachers are focused on instead of striving to do better for our children.

    • You mean low priced babysitter. If teacher’s charged the same rate as baby-sitters they would make more than double their current salary.

    • we always strive to do the best for all children!

    • Please pay me child care wages. My wife runs a daycare and I am a teacher. We hand-pick our daycare kids. She does not have to take children with behaviour issues or kids whose parents give her attitude. If we took in 16 of these hand-picked sweeties both of us would clear at least $75,000 per year after taxes.
      No, no, no. Let’s not do that. Please pay me $7 per hour which is the going rate for a 13 year old neighbour kid who babysits in her spare time. If I was paid only for the 6 hours they were in my care at school my annual income would be almost $210,000 per year.
      Don’t kid yourself. You are taking your children and teachers for granted. Teachers are the best of the best in our society and if you want to entrust your children to good people then pay them and be happy.

  10. As a Grade 12 student, I understand the teacher’s desire for more money. Who doesn’t want more money? Teaching is a tough job. I know that if I had to stand in front of a class of kids like the ones in my grade, I’d be wanting a raise! I don’t think it’s the teachers fault for kids’ behavior these days. Teachers aren’t babysitters, nor are they there to parent your child. It has to be really really hard. As much as the wages suck, I actually think teaching is a profession I may wish to go into someday. I’d rather do something about children’s behavior and education than skulk at home after working 9-5 in an office far away from my kids.
    Too many adults are forgetting that teaching IS a profession, and from my knowledge about post-secondary education, it isn’t exactly cheap to go back and take more classes and possibly get accredited in them. Teachers are so underestimated and unacknowledged by the rest of society, so I believe they deserve to be paid more.
    As a student, when my teacher comes back to school the next day and doesn’t have my homework corrected, or my test marks in, sure I’m a little upset because Hell I wanna know how I did! But they have to put in after-school hours, unpaid, to do that work. Not to mention, classes these days are getting huge! My grade 12 class has 13 students, but the classes coming up have over 30 kids, and I’m just talking small town. I can’t imagine being a teacher in the city!
    So, please don’t complain about the teacher’s strike. I know it’s unfortunate that some of you parents may have to take a day off work to watch your kids, but really what do you lose? 8 hours of work? You also gain some quality time with your kids. You aren’t the only ones suffering. My grad could get postponed due to lost prep-time, as SRC Secretary I’ll have to do double time to make up for our teacher-supervisor’s noon-hour absence, I’m going to have to pay extra attention in class to make sure I learn my stuff because I won’t be getting afters-school help anymore, and so on. But it’s OK! Teachers have to put in all that extra work every day. And hey, maybe once they start getting paid more, the quality of their teaching will go up (to all of you who think teacher’s are so terrible.)
    Look at the bright side, jeeze.

  11. Are you sure that salary is the only thing on the table? Is it possible that teachers actually want other things – like funding for resources to teach students? Reasonable class sizes? Is the media providing the whole story in five sentences, or is it possible that there is more that is not being communicated, because it is detailed, requires people to read a lot and think deeply on an issue for more than two seconds?

    • Thank you for your support, what you said was very kind!Good luck if you decide to become a teacher, it is a very rewarding profession!

  12. I am a teacher in Saskatchewan, I am proud of the work that I do and proud to call myself a teacher. As for the comment about “brainless teachers”, there may be some who should not be allowed to be in this work field, however we should not all be categorized as so. There are many doctors, nurses, electricians, plumbers, Tim Hortons employees etc… who are “brainless” as well, but that does not mean that everyone in that career path is.

    Thank you to those that support us in our path and to those that don’t I am sorry you think that way, everyone is entitled to their opinions, but we work hard as teachers (as many other professions do) and we deserve to make a decent wage.

    I am a beginning teacher (under 3 years experience) and believe me, when I went to school I thought it was going to be great to have summer holidays, Christmas break, Spring break and Easter break, however as I began to work, I realized that many of those days we get off are devoted to school work (correcting papers, planning lessons (NO there is not a piece of paper that tells me what i have to teach everyday, I have a curriculum and I have to plan my days from that), making sure I am adapting to the many diverse needs in my class and doing inservices to help me keep up to date. Yes it is nice to say as teachers we have this vacation time, however we are working through a lot of those days. I know its hard to understand, I did no either until I got my first job, maybe some of you should open up your eyes and research a little before you speak.

  13. Just looking at what a teacher makes they work 200 days a year they do put in more time then 9 to 3:30 so lets do an 8hr day so that is 1600 hrs a year, then lets look at a wage of 68000 per year (from the teachers union website) that works out to be 42.50 hr pretty good wage I think, but we also have to look at all the benifits and pensions they get over and above there wage. Wish that my wife and I made that put together.

    • You are correct to assume that, however we do work more than 200 days a year, take this past Easter break for example, We had a total of 10 days, I spent at least 24 hours (not at once, put together) doing school work. I am also at the school every day between 7:00 and 7:30 and do not leave until 4:30 or 5:00. There are other staff that are there longer than I am. Plus I coach volleyball so that was another 30 hours I put in during that time. If you want to calculate the time we spend on teaching than you need to take a teacher and calculate their hours for a year and see how many hours they actually spend.

      • but if you show up at 7:30 and leave at 4:30 that is 8hrs. are you actually doing work that whole time or drinking coffee and visting well getting ready for class.

      • I know for a fact that our teachers don’t laze around and drink coffee in the mornings. Many students seek before and after school help on lessons, which takes away from the time that those teachers usually spend correcting assignments, preparing classes, etc.
        Of course there’s always those couple slackers in every work place that are totally overpaid for the little amount and poor quality work they do, but the majority of teacher’s are great! (Note that this is coming from a High School student, a group not usually very fond of teachers, school and such.)

    • I guess you have NO idea how many hours a teacher actually puts in. They do not just work the hours in a school day. There is prep and marking, along with helping students, tutorials, teachers staff meetings, parent meetings, possibly coaching, Pro D days that teachers MUST attend, it is not a day off for them. It is hard to get a teaching position. Teachers’ jobs are not all fulltime, and then they DO NOT receive full wages or benefits. So, maybe you should adjust your idea of what a teacher makes per hour. And I am not a teacher, just informed.

  14. So in a province with lower costs of housing and insurances etc. it is interesting that teachers would do this. Not to support better eductaion for the kids by supplying better equipment, smaller class size and such but MORE FOR ME! Way to teach your youth. $42 or so per hour with all your breaks, summers off and such you are likely overpaid.
    Paraphrasing my favourite teacher “shutup and get to work”

    • I would love to work 1600 hours per year and make $42 per hour. The majority of teachers work in excess of 10 hours per day, work a few hours each weekend (no overtime,by the way), put in between 100 and 200 hours each year in extracurricular involvement mostly away from their own families, work over the so called holidays that everyone seems to think we have, and also spend days during the summer planning, reading and setting up classrooms for the fall. All in all it works out to be closer to $22- $25 per hour and parents expect us to create model citizens and exceptionally well educated young people to carry on our provinces future. I’d say the public is getting a free ride on the backs of some pretty awesome people – Teachers.

  15. As stated before, we do not get as many holidays as before, however if that is your opinion so be it! I would love to see more for the students, smaller class sizes etc, however that does not work, there are many school divisions who will not hire extra teachers when they are needed, there are also many schools that are in need of MAJOR repair, why aren’t those being fixed, I totally agree! However teachers and the education system are pushed aside for many things, whether it be for teachers salary, useful equipment and supplies for the classroom or new schools. Nobody ever sees this though, the media puts out what it wants to put out, and that stuff being things that are going to get the general public pissed off

  16. Don’t forget to subtract gas money. A large majority of the teachers working at my school don’t live in town. Most drive an hour to work everyday, then back. We don’t have any economical buses or bike routes for them to take to school every day. So that could also be time added to the hours they work.
    If you want decent pay, you have to work hard, and/or get a post-secondary education of some sort. That’s more money they have to spend. Plus, a lot of them have families too, as well as other needs just as any person does. I’m not saying that teaching is the toughest job in the world, but it’s harsh. If I were a teacher in my school for a day, I’d go insane! The kids’ behavior is awful, and many of them have personal needs that teachers have to adjust to in order to get the lesson through to them. Just try to be more understanding, please. Parents aren’t the only ones that will have to put a little effort into things. I’m gonna have to supervise some of those kids because their own parents aren’t going to want to go spend their lunch hour making sure their kid doesn’t choke on their food or get hurt at recess. Oh and by the way, I’m pretty sure no one’s gonna be paying me for that.

  17. to just a dad:

    Am i sitting around drinking coffee? First off I do not drink coffee, second off I do not spend any time sitting around chatting or doing any of that. Today for example I was on supervision all day, taking care of a grade 1/2 class and being on supervision is a long day. I did not have a break from time I got to school today until the time I left in my vehicle. Many days are the exact same. There are some teachers that do sit on their behinds and drink coffee and gossip, I agree! What I am trying to get across is that we are NOT all the same, I think I work hard for what I do

    • “What I am trying to get across is that we are NOT all the same … “

      Really? Don’t unions make sure that everyone is treated the same, irrespective of performance? Don’t you want a system that allows bad teachers to be fired? I want good teachers to make good money, and bad teachers to make no money because they get fired – just like in the real world that the rest of us mere-mortal private-sector peons inhabit.. ie YOUR EMPLOYERS.

    • I agree with you, their are some fabulous teachers out their and I commend them on what they do everyday, but this union does protect the bad teachers out there as well. My daughter had one of these teachers in grade four we tried all year to get rid of her because the classroom was so out of control but with no luck. She finally stepped over the line and physically abused on of the children in the class and she was finally fired. A retired teacher took her place and sent all of the work home the kids had done that year and said this is useless and they have wasted a full year. She is now teaching in someone else’s town cause the union protects her, this is what frustrates parents. We have some great teachers who deserve a 20% increase in my eyes and some that need to find a different line of work.

  18. People that complain about teacher’s salaries are hilarious. Do you have a university degree? If so, and you didn’t take a useless arts degree, you most assuredly make more money than a teacher.

    I want to make as much money as a doctor! No fair! Forget that they went to school for 7 years! Who cares about being qualifed!

  19. Ps. just a dad…

    730-430 is nine hours, maybe if we had an hour lunch break than it would have been 8, however when on supervision you don’t get the lovely breaks so it was a 9 hour day!

  20. I strongly support the teacher’s union, and recommend that some of the people making anti-union comments should educate themselves on what being a teacher actually entails.

  21. Jae….. Well said!
    I’m a Regina teacher and when I read ignorant and crude postings it just breaks my heart. Our society does not realize the hard work teachers do on a daily basis.
    Teachers are undervalued and over worked….. Hence why many quit and burn out after the first 5 years of teaching.

    I enjoy my job everyday! Though the cost of living has gone up! I can’t keep up with high costs with a low salary.
    I love teaching today’s children! I just ask that I am able to put food on my table for my children.
    Thank- you for supporting Sakatxhewan Teachers!

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  23. Amazing. There really are people here who just re-elected a federal government who wants to spend unconscionable amounts on bigger prisons and faster fighter jets, but can’t see the utility of spending a little more to get the best and brightest teachers we can for our children.

    • I must have slept through the economics lecture that explained how unionized monopolies are natural magnets for the best and brightest.

  24. When I was teaching I was at work from 8:00 to 5:00. There was one day every week that I actually got a lunch break since I had supervision and extra-curricular activities the four other days. Most nights I brought home at least two hours of marking and planning to be done. During the summer I spent one week of my “holidays” at the school setting up my classroom. I also spent the summer looking over new textbooks, reading the books I would be using in my classroom, and creating and/or updating unit plans to teach in the upcoming year. I was also never able to attend my own children’s special days at school because I was at a different school working.

    I stopped teaching because I was missing my own children’s childhood to be with YOUR children. I was cursed at by parents and students. I have two degrees and made less than half of what my husband was making in the trades with no degree. Teaching is no picnic. To say teachers are overpaid is a gross misrepresentation.

    I have seen a number of teachers who got to school five minutes before the bell in the morning, left five minutes after the bell in the afternoon and never took work home with them, but this is not all teachers. Maybe all teachers don’t deserve a raise, but the vast majority do deserve one. They also deserve a bit of recognition from all of you who think that teachers are overpaid babysitters. Why don’t you spend a day in front of your child’s class and get back to me.

  25. As a parent of 2 school aged children, I have observed that both schools my children have gone to have 2-3 teachers who run all the sports activities and seem to really enjoy the job and the children. Those 2-3 are worth their weight in gold. The majority however arrive 15 minutes before class and will run you over in the parking lot if you get in the way 5 minutes after class ends.

    Most people get 2-3 WEEKS not months of holiday time per year. What is all that time off in the summer with your family worth?? the early retirement, the incredible benefits? Just equality, that is all we want, and if we can’t have it, at least stop whining about how tough teachers have it, we have eyes, you know. Reason new grads can’t get jobs in teaching? Too many people want the job/holidays/pensions. There is a line-up so if you don’t like the job, let one of the new grads have it, they might be willing to accept their pot of gold without putting the tax-paying public through this nonsense every few months.

  26. wow,,, some people have to realize that teachers dont just work from the time schol starts in the morning till the bell rings at the end of the day, my mom goes early, and sometimes does not get home till 9-8 o’ clock ay night! and they do not get 3 months of in the summer, almost all of august is spent in the classroom for my mom, and weekends and holidays they go in and plan and prepare things. Then there is also the sports, that the teachers coach after school and on the weekends to get them places. I dont think that people see this, that teachers jobs are accaully a JOB!

  27. I am tired of hearing people say that teachers get the best holidays and they shouldn’t complain. My mom was a teacher and my dad worked in trades, not only did he get paid more than my mom, he also go more holidays. Keep in mind his holidays were paid for, teachers are NOT!! As stated earlier, teachers spend holidays at school or at home doing school work. I remember many summers helping my mom prepare for classes, lessons and units. I challenge many of you to count your holiday days, that you are paid for and if you get some you are doing better then teachers. I would also challenge you to look at how much work you do outside of your work day that you don’t get paid for. If you can walk away from your job and leave it at the office then you are also doing better then teachers.

    Now that I am a teacher, and I do love my job, I am getting tired of all of the anger society has against teachers. I realize you all went through school and some how that is supposed to make you all experts, but the challenges that are faced in schools today are very different from when most of us went to school. Our society demands excellence yet does not support things that need to be done to accomplish that. Pay me the same wage but make my class size 15 students. If you want to see real change that is where we need to start. Unfortunately that will never happen because we do not have the facilities nor the desire to spend more money in education.

    I have been teaching for 3 and a half years. During that time I have ran different extra curricular activities in my school. I see the value in these things as they are sports and clubs I participated in as a student. I have spent over 500 hours in my first years of teaching doing extra curricular activities with my students at school, this is above and beyond the school day and extra school work. This works out to me basically working the equivalent of one year for free every 7 years. And I have colleagues who put in over 300 hours of extra curricular per year.
    I think it is time that our society starts to value education and start to recognize the demands that society and government put on the teachers. If we value a society that is going to be capable, compassionate, educated and one day lead our world, then we need to start at the beginning: Education is that first step if we start to value it and the people who work in that sector we may see some great things happen in society.

    • Icompltetly agree with you statement 100% I have spent many summers with my mom, helping her in her room,and helping her with sutff. I apprieciate teachers 100%

  28. I can tell by reading your comment that you are one of the “work to rulies”. Our school has 2-3 workers and about 20 “work to rulies”. They are the ones that go around claiming to put in all sorts of extra time while Mr R and Mr M really put in all the extra time and never complain.
    to Mr R and Mr M and all those teachers who put in the hours and do the job that they love to do: I wish there were more like you, we should be paying you more. To all those others, who didn’t go to law school or med school because your marks were in the 70s so went to teacher’s college, we know who you are and you are teaching our kids. Commenting on Macleans won’t convince us otherwise. We can see when you leave and our kids tell us what you did all day.

  29. I am a first year teacher. My sister is a first year nurse. My sister will make 30,000 dollars more than me this year. She also works shorter shifts than I do, does not commute one hour each way every day, doesn’t spend 4 hours a night planning her upcoming day of work, she doesn’t work unpaid after her shift with her patients, she doesn’t spend her lunch break supervising her patients. She does get as much time off each year that I do, except that her holidays are paid.
    I love my job.
    I’m disappointed by how undervalued teachers are in this province.

  30. @Irish
    If a person struggled in school and got 70’s like you said, or lower, I’m pretty sure that the last thing they’re gonna want to do is go back to school and teach. The people I know who are becoming teachers, were the really smart and keen ones in school. There is a possibility that things have changed since you were in school. The majority of adults know not to do something they don’t like. That’s why if I ever become a teacher, I can guarantee you that I will never be teaching math or chemistry, because my interests lie in English, History, French and Computers, while my math marks for certain lie at the bottom of the class. I haven’t had a teacher yet who didn’t exceed in the class they teach while in High School. So my condolences if you’ve enrolled your child in a school that may not live up to your standards, but if it’s that much of an issue, I suggest taking action and I wish you good luck in that. However as for the honorable teachers who have taught me, I believe they deserve far better than to be treated the way so many disrespectful and inconsiderate parents are treating them these days.

  31. De-Certify the Union. Fire all the teachers. Hire back the ones worth having. Don’t hire back the ones who indoctrinate malleable young minds into little socialists (ie, fire 90% of them permanently).

  32. Miss R, don’t think you can make me pay for your career choice. Your sister works at least 50 more days a year than you do, plus she works hard,

  33. Here we go again…Average Joe looking at his neighbour and saying “He makes more than me! He needs to make less!” instead of you know, directing that ire towards those who are the architects of the global economic meltdown? Bankers? Mulit-national corporations? Their enablers in government? What? Do I hear crickets?

    I say we take the right wing’s arguments to their logical conclusion—no taxes towards schools and make home-schooling mandatory. Or just outsource teaching to Indian call centres?

    I’m always astounded that the right in both the US and Canada always argues that education standards need to be higher, but then they want to do it on the cheap. The free market and public education were never supposed to mix.

  34. Please, for anyone outside of Saskatchewan, do some fact-checking on cost of living and the state of the province’s finances. We currently lead the nation in inflation, Regina’s and Saskatoon’s average house is selling for around $300,000 with prices continuing to rise and the rental situation is a fiasco with the amount of provincial migration for various developments. Also, read this opinion article and get a little more in tune with the political atmosphere in the province and in these negotiations – I would imagine 12-15% over three years is where this will end up, but that’s just this guy’s opinion.

  35. Hey Scott

    what a pile of BS. I live in an apartment (2 bdrm, under 800 square feet) if it was put on the market here in BC it would be somewhere between 375,000 and 1/2 a million.

    Public sector unions are a CRIME against the people who pay for it, private business’s being forced to deal with unions is one thing but the TAXPAYER should never ever have to deal with unions in any way shape or form.

    If they walk on Thursday they should all be fired on Thursday.

  36. FREE – Everywhere in BC a small apartment would be at least $375,000? It sounds like you live in and around Vancouver, one of the most expensive places to live in the world (let alone Canada), or the Okanagan Valley where it’s difficult to find a job. Saskatoon and Regina are becoming comparable to Calgary and Toronto in terms of pricing which is weird considering Saskatoon is closing in on only 250,000 people while Calgary is well more than 1,000,000 and Toronto around 5,000,000. If you’re worried about housing prices in your area of the world, get a job in Sask. and buy a more affordable home, your call :)

  37. Today I heard this:

    Students asked what would happen to their sports team if the teachers were not running practices and supervising games. The teacher replied, that it is their job to be at service to their union and those extracurricular sports would not happen. The student responded with, “Well what if the teacher just wanted to do it from the goodness of their heart” and the teacher responded, “Well what did you think they were doing now?”


    I love the comparisons made in this article. It is an article from the United States, but they make a lot of good points about education around the world.
    “WHEN we don’t get the results we want in our military endeavors, we don’t blame the soldiers. We don’t say, “It’s these lazy soldiers and their bloated benefits plans! That’s why we haven’t done better in Afghanistan!” No, if the results aren’t there, we blame the planners. We blame the generals, the secretary of defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff. No one contemplates blaming the men and women fighting every day in the trenches for little pay and scant recognition.
    And yet in education we do just that. When we don’t like the way our students score on international standardized tests, we blame the teachers. When we don’t like the way particular schools perform, we blame the teachers and restrict their resources.

    Compare this with our approach to our military: when results on the ground are not what we hoped, we think of ways to better support soldiers. We try to give them better tools, better weapons, better protection, better training. And when recruiting is down, we offer incentives. ”

    I think many people are getting frustrated because of the constant comparisons to health care, and think that somehow teachers are against nurses. I don’t think any teachers are saying they are more important that anyone else. We are simply hoping to regain our lost purchasing power. All of the stats being sited by the STF are adjusted for cost of living. Teaching is a very rewarding profession, but there needs to be more compensation for the hard work that teachers put in. We need to do something to reduce teacher turn over, and making teaching a more attractive choice will help.
    “The consulting firm McKinsey recently examined how we might attract and retain a talented teaching force. The study compared the treatment of teachers here and in the three countries that perform best on standardized tests: Finland, Singapore and South Korea.

    Turns out these countries have an entirely different approach to the profession. First, the governments in these countries recruit top graduates to the profession. (We don’t.) In Finland and Singapore they pay for training. (We don’t.) In terms of purchasing power, South Korea pays teachers on average 250 percent of what we do.

    And most of all, they trust their teachers. They are rightly seen as the solution, not the problem, and when improvement is needed, the school receives support and development, not punishment. Accordingly, turnover in these countries is startlingly low: In South Korea, it’s 1 percent per year. In Finland, it’s 2 percent. In Singapore, 3 percent.”

    If we want to invest in our future and our youth we need to put money behind those beliefs. Teachers are taking just one day to try to get the Bargaining committee to offer something more then the measly offer that won’t keep teachers ahead of inflation.

  39. After reading most of the comments, I think the point is being missed. Our teachers are extremely valuable and definitely deserve an increase. The question is, how much? If percentages were cookies, most of us are receiving one to three cookies per year and the teachers are asking for twelve cookies. My greatest fear is that if you hold on to that cookie bag too tight, you may only be left with crumbs…

  40. for those of you arguing the differences in living expenses, here’s the latest stats from the Canadian Real Estate Association on average housing prices in each province:

  41. Reading some of these posts is heartbreaking. If society wants highly educated people teaching their children, they need to pay for it. I am a teacher and have spent over $600 of my own money on my class. In what other job do you have to buy your own supplies? Maybe we should ask all nurses to supply bandages. Teachers haven’t had a raise since 2008. Asking for 12% in one year is a junping off point, not something we are stuck on. We have signed 2 0% contracts in the last 15 years. We are not asking to make the same as Alberta teachers, but historically we have only been 10% behind them and now we are 21% behind them.
    By supporting teachers you are supporting children.

  42. I should clarify that is two 0% contracts

  43. I’m pretty sure Alberta teachers work on contract and do not have tenure. I believe Saskatchewan teachers do have tenure. After our experience this year with a completely incompetent kindergarten teacher, I find it impossible to support teachers in this strike. We expected a few bumps, not every teacher will be an exact fit, but this woman was ridiculous. Her desk is a garbage pile, kids are constantly “misplaced”, and she allows certain children to be bullied, in particular those that do not have generations of family running the community. Unfortunately she is impossible to fire. Get rid of teachers like her, get rid of tenure and make teachers accountable, and then I can easily support a teacher raise. Good teachers should also be paid for their extracurricular work, a couple of days off in leiu is just silly.