The concern is mounting in the education sector in Saskatchewan following talk by the government of pay cuts and layoffs.
The letter from deputy education minister Julie MacRae to school division board chairs tells them to cut wages or benefits for employees by 3.5 per cent.
It also says the cut can’t be achieved through staff reductions.
It is believed this request is on top of the funding reaction K-12 saw in the recent provincial budget.
But teacher contracts don’t end until August with negotiations beginning next month.
It appears local agreements may not be the solution either as many are not close to ending.
“If they are open and being negotiated then sure there’s things to look at there, absolutely, but if they are not then boards are committed to honouring them,” argued Shawn Davidson, president of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA).
Davidson said he wants clarification from the government and time to deal with these issues.
“My phone is on, we are ready as boards to consult with the government on moving forward with these changes, my phone isn’t ringing,” Davidson said.
The SSBA maintained that school boards have already been trying to find savings through things such as joint purchasing and joint transportation.
But Davidson added that won’t make up for the $55 million the province has cut.