Following the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation extension of rotating strikes, the organization representing Saskatchewan teachers says it’s giving notice of a withdrawal of noon hour supervision services on Thursday, February 8.
The withdrawal means teachers will not be available to supervise students who are eating lunch at school or taking part in noon hour activities, as stated in an STF release. Teachers will leave the building during each school’s designated lunch break period. Although teachers often provide lunch break supervision, it is done on a voluntary basis.
The Education Act states that the province’s school divisions are responsible for ensuring student safety during the suspension of teacher duties. Divisions are expected to communicate with parents about schedule or operational changes resulting from the work disruption.
“A decade of government funding cuts has meant parents in several school divisions are forced to pay out-of-pocket fees of $100 or more for their kids to stay at school over the noon hour,” says Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation President Samantha Becotte in the release. “School boards face the impossible task of balancing government funding shortfalls and the rising costs of services that students need. Students and families are caught in the middle, and I encourage every parent and caregiver in the province to let our government officials know how they feel about that.”
The release notes that the withdrawal of noon-hour supervision will be an inconvenience to many families. The STF invited parents and caregivers concerned about the impact to contact their MLAs and elected school board officials in an effort to see a return to bargaining.