Downtown Swift Current was filled today with teachers protesting for the second time in a week.

The province-wide initiative enacted by the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation (STF) had around 400 local faculty members picketing along Central Avenue North in front of Swift Current MLA Everett Hindley's office.

Neal Boutin, an executive with the STF, said they would rather be in the classroom educating the next generation, but the province is making their jobs extremely difficult.

boutin_zammit_2Neal Boutin (left) being interviewed by David Zammit (right).

"With the resources and supports that we're receiving in our classrooms many teachers are finding it very difficult to meet the challenges," he said. "School divisions don't have the financing to meet the challenges. They would like to, Chinook School Division would love to be able to fully fund education across our division, they just don't have the funds from the government."

The actions of teachers across Saskatchewan and locally in the southwest are a result of a lack of ongoing negotiations between the two sides. Boutin said the province won't budge at the table on fixing classroom sizes or upping its seven per cent increase over the three-year wage offer.

"They're expecting us to move on our initial proposal," he said. "We're willing and ready to negotiate at the table with the government on wage but they're unwilling to take a look at things like class complexity and size that are very important issues to our members."

Teachers are hoping students' parents, guardians, and the general public will voice their concerns with local MLAs regarding funding for education.

About 60 teachers are also rallying in Maple Creek today for the strike at the corner of Jasper Street and Pacific Avenue.

Swift Current Online did reach out to Everett Hindley's office this morning but was unable to receive a response before publishing time.