Joe Couture – The StarPhoenix, March 12, 2014
Provincial Opposition education critic Trent Wotherspoon said he wasn’t surprised to learn that nine out of 10 teachers who responded to a survey said they do not think they are appreciated by government.
The voluntary survey of the province’s educators was done for the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation. Wotherspoon raised its results during question period at the Legislature Tuesday.
“It reflected the listening and relationships that I have across the province in the education sector. Teachers themselves have been in many ways kicked by the government,” said Wotherspoon, whose own background is in education.
“What is clear is that this minister, this government needs to start listening to teachers. They need to better understand the realities in classrooms,” he added.
Education Minister Don Morgan said he received the study after it was completed in December.
“It was prepared by them sort of in response to the teachers having not ratified the contract, so the study certainly shows there’s a lot of frustration that’s been there for a long time,” Morgan said.
He knows there is more work to do to improve relationships with teachers, the minister added.
“What we’d really like to do is to work through and do what we can to get a collective agreement in place, a partnership agreement and things that will help students.”
Morgan said he recently met with a group of parents who went on about how wonderful the local teachers were. But when he met with the teachers immediately afterward, they told him they aren’t appreciated by anyone.
“I think there’s a bit of a disconnect there, and maybe it’s a timing thing and people should reach out to teachers,” he said. Once the contract situation is resolved, that “certainly removes the pressure,” Morgan said.