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Saskatchewan teachers are returning to the bargaining table and will end job action that had threatened to upend extracurricular activities, including graduation ceremonies.

The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation announced Friday it will resume talks next week for a new contract because it has assurances the province will address issues of classroom sizes and other supports in negotiations.

The talks are scheduled to start Tuesday.

Teachers had been refusing in fits and starts for months to perform certain extracurricular duties, such as lunchroom supervision and volunteering for after-school events, to push the province to negotiate.

They had ramped up that job action this week, announcing all duties, including helping with graduation ceremonies, would cease indefinitely.

Federation president Samantha Becotte said teachers won’t impose sanctions during negotiations.

“Anytime we have job action we know it creates a disruption in the lives of students and their families, and it definitely disrupts the lives of teachers,” she told reporters.

“It helps to put additional pressure on the employer any time there is job action. I’m happy to say we’re at a place that’s really good right now.”

The two sides are at odds over whether classroom sizes and supports should be done within or outside of collective bargaining.

The province has promised increased funding and teacher input to those issues outside of bargaining, but teachers say those promises need to be in writing in the contract to ensure the government follows through on its promises.

Ms. Becotte had asked the province last week to include a line in the contract that would ensure the province honours its commitments.

She declined to say if such line will be in the collective agreement as both sides are working out the language.

“With back and forth conversations, anything I share with you right now might change in the future and I would hate it to derail the positive path we’re on,” Ms. Becotte said.

“I’m looking forward to the day where we have a tentative agreement, and I’m able to share a little bit more of those details.”

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