Provincial and Local Bargaining

Funding Model’s Impact on Negotiating Local Agreements

In 2009, the Saskatchewan Government revised the education funding model, significantly impacting the PSTA’s LINC Agreement negotiations. This new model introduced a uniform provincial tax rate for residential, commercial, and agricultural properties, replacing the previous system where each school division independently set property tax rates to meet local needs and fund budgets.
Previously, if negotiating a LINC Agreement required additional funding, a school board could raise the mill rate accordingly. Under the current model, school funding is mainly based on student enrolment, and school boards must finance any additional expenses from teacher negotiations without extra funding, while ensuring they present a balanced budget to the Ministry of Education.
For context, increasing prep time by 1% in our LINC Agreement costs the school division approximately $850,000 per year and must be funded through the current funding model. To fund this increase, the PSSD Board would need to increase class size or cut programs.

1915SSBA established. School boards have autonomy to set the mill rate to fund school budgets.
2006PSTA formed through almalgamaation of Sask Valley, Sask West and Sask East Teachers’ Associations.
20075% prep time on calendar
2009Government removes School Boards’ ability to adjust mill rate
20105% prep on calendar and 3% added to timetable
20125% prep on calendar and 5% on timetable.
20206% prep on calendar and 5% on timetable


Pressing Necessity/Emergency Leave Details

As a PSTA member you have access to three days with pay per year for Pressing Necessity/Emergency Leave. This leave can be accessed for responding to events requiring an immediate response which are outside the control of the teacher including road closure, natural disasters, accident, home emergency or community emergency service.

Now that winter weather is approaching, the following information is being sent to you as a reminder of Prairie Spirit’s practice regarding “Pressing Necessity/Emergency” leave which includes staff absenteeism due to inclement weather.

In the event of inclement weather, you are expected to make every effort to safely arrive at work by taking an alternate route, waiting for the plow or waiting for conditions to improve, etc.  If weather conditions will impact your safe arrival at work, please contact your in-school administrator or immediate supervisor as soon as possible to let them know of your situation. 

If you are unable to get from your home to work due to bad weather, the usual options are in place for staff including access to personal days with pay, days without pay, or vacation days (for 12 month support staff).

In your local agreement/handbook, there are provisions for three days per year for Pressing Necessity/Emergency Leave.  When there is an official RCMP road closure impacting your ability to get to work, staff may access the “Pressing Necessity/Emergency” conditions of our local agreements and be absent from work with pay.  Any public grid or secondary road that is impassable meets the requirements for Pressing Necessity/Emergency Leave.  Please note that a “snowed in” vehicle or blocked driveway does not qualify for Pressing Necessity/Emergency Leave.

Examples of an impassable public grid or secondary road are:

  • a significant snow drift blocking the road
  • a washed-out road
  • RCMP road closure

Please note that flight delays do not fit the criteria of a pressing necessity. 

Emailed to all PSTA members October 25, 2022

More information regarding Pressing Necessities can be found in Section 12.11 of our LINC Agreement.

12.11.1 Pressing Necessities leave with pay shall be granted to a teacher for the purposes of responding to an event outside the control of the teacher if this unexpected event requires an immediate response so as to ensure the safety of family, community members and/or property.

12.11.2 A teacher shall be granted up to a maximum of three (3) days annually with pay to attend to a pressing necessity.

12.11.3 Examples of a pressing necessity include, but are not limited to, the following:
a. Road closure
b. Natural Disaster
c. Accident
d. Home emergency
e. Community Emergency Service

12.11.4 Reasons for the need of a pressing necessity day shall be given to the administrator/supervisor.

LINC Agreement: Section 12.11

How changes to Section 6.1 of our LINC Agreement will affect payday

One update to the PSTA LINC Agreement (2020) was made to reflect how teachers are paid now. In the past, you might remember receiving your paystub and cheque in your school mailbox. Section 6.1 of the previous LINC Agreement stated, “Cheques shall be issued electronically on the last school day on or before the 25th of each month” so your cheque would be in your mailbox before break began so you wouldn’t have to wait until returning to work.

The updated Section 6.1 now states, “Pay will be issued electronically on or before the 25th of each month” because we receive our pay electronically and can be deposited on or before the 25th of the month.

This change to our LINC Agreement means that you will not receive your December pay early like previous years. December 25th is a holiday so you will see your December pay deposited on December 24th.

2020 LINC Ratification Results

The Prairie Spirit Teachers’ Association has officially ratified the 2020 PSTA LINC Agreement. This agreement will come into effect immediately upon approval of the Board.

Thank you to the PSSD Negotiation Committee and PSTA LINC for their hard work in negotiating this agreement.

A total of 633 votes were cast with 482 (76%) in favour and 149 (24%) opposed.

This new agreement includes revisions that will improve clarity of interpretation, as well as a $20,000 teacher wellness fund. It also includes an increase of 1% on-calendar preparation time beginning next school year. This will mean 2 additional prep days during the school year, while keeping us below the assigned time limit of 1044 hours and maintaining instructional time by adding 3 minutes to each contact day.

Tentative LINC Agreement Information Sessions

The PSTA LINC Team will be hosting two information sessions to discuss the changes in the Tentative LINC Agreement before the ratification vote on March 10th and 11th.

Ratification Timeline:

  • February 26 – The PSTA Executive will meet to review the Tentative Agreement and vote on a motion to send the Tentative LINC Agreement to PSTA members for a vote
  • If the Executive pass the motion:
    • March 1 – Copy of the Tentative LINC Agreement will be sent to all teachers
    • Information Session for PSTA Members:
      • March 4 at 3:30
      • March 9 at 4:30
    • March 10-11 – Vote to approve Tentative Agreement
    • March 12 – Vote results announced

2020 Education Bursary

As part of our LINC agreement, Prairie Spirit teachers can apply to have 65% of tuition expenses to a maximum of $500 per class covered for classes taken while employed by Prairie Spirit. The PSSD-PSTA Local Negotiations Subcommittee met in January to finalize the applications to the Education Bursary Program and the 2020 Education Bursary funds have been disbursed.

With a carry over of $7,483 from the 2019-2020 school year, there was a total of $52,483 available to support teachers’ professional learning. We saw the greatest number of applications this year and all but $653 of the available funds were disbursed.

2020-2021 LINC Memorandum of Agreement

For the 2020-2021 school year, the Prairie Spirit School Division and the Prairie Spirit Teachers’ Association LINC have signed a Memorandum of Agreement to clarify changes to access and benefits regarding leaves of absence.

In regards to clauses 12.5.9, 12.8.10 and 12.10.7 of the current Prairie Spirit Collective Agreement, the maximum allowable carry-over of earned days off and personal days with pay to the next academic school year is increased from three (3) days to five (5) days.

Read the 2020-2021 LINC Memorandum of Agreement to increase noon supervision EDO carryover from 3 to 5 days.

LINC Update

Our current Local Agreement expired on Aug 31st, 2020, but will remain in place until we have negotiated and signed a new agreement. Unfortunately, our negations were put on hold with the closure of schools in Spring. With School Board Elections this November, it is likely negotiations will begin after Christmas break.

In addition to the surveys used last year to gather feedback about the current agreement, we want to learn more about how our members’ of the local agreement has been impacted by COVID and Return to School plans. The LINC team will be sending a short survey to SSLs every 2 weeks focused on one section or theme to gather feedback. We want to know how COVID has impacted prep time, supervision, and blended learning.

In the meantime, our LINC is collaborating with PSSD to review implementation of the agreement, identify areas that have been affected by COVID, and address issues that arise. If you have questions or comments related to the Local Agreement, please contact our LINC Chair, Brian Knowles, or PSTA President, Scott Woods-Fehr.