A smaller cohort of teachers from multiple southwest communities gathered in downtown Swift Current today to continue their protesting against the lack of current negotiations with the provincial government.

About 50 local faculty members from Swift Current, Shaunavon, and Vanguard paraded up and down Central Avenue North with the main contingent near Swift Current MLA Everett Hindley's office.

One of the teachers from All Saints Catholic School, Callen Boutin, who was also the site captain for the day said the consistent protests can be frustrating to their weekly classroom work and financially.

protest_jan31_5Boutin has been invovled with all three local strikes now.

"But we've been having disruptions throughout the whole year, in term of how big your class is, not getting the support you need, and violence in the classroom," he said. "To give up one day and stand up for what we need in education right now, it is a little bit of a sacrifice but we're hoping that if anybody sees any negative towards it, you can turn that animosity towards the government."

No negotiations between the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation and the province are scheduled currently with around 13,500 teachers looking for a new deal.

"They haven't given us much wiggle room recently but we're hoping that when more people reach out, when more people are seen in the streets showing their concern for teachers and their support, we're hoping that as an MLA, they see that and bring that towards the provincial level and say we'd like to retrace our steps."

Saskatchewan's Health Minister Everett Hindley has received countless correspondents on this hot-button topic from local teachers, parents, other concerned citizens. The second-term MLA said he tries to response or meet with as many people as possible and listen to their ideas and concerns.

protest_jan31_4Hindley took a moment out of his day to speak with media before attending a federal government meeting.

"We feel that there is progress that can be made on a number of items that are being asked for," he said. "There's still a difference of opinion on class-size and composition. Not saying that's not a challenge or an issue that needs to be addressed but we just don't believe that's best done at the bargaining table."

Hindley and Boutin both advocated hope towards their respective sides returning to the bargaining table soon. 

"We have conversations as a caucus and a cabinet with the Minister of Education and his officials on the status of where the bargaining as it," he said. "I think we will be talking about it again here next week."