01/24/2018 08:48 EST | Updated 01/25/2018 14:03 EST

Arbitrator sought in Saskatchewan teachers' contract 'impasse' with province

SASKATOON — Teachers in Saskatchewan are seeking arbitration to help settle a contract dispute with the provincial government.

The Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation said Wednesday that the province's negotiators continue to call for wage rollbacks and refuse to bargain on a full range of issues important to the province's 13,500 teachers.

Federation president Patrick Maze said a negotiated settlement would have been preferred.

"At this point we feel that we're at an impasse and we need to have a third party intervene," he said.

"We feel we've reached a point where we're kind of just spinning our tires. The government doesn't seem to want to negotiate on items that are important to us."

A date for an arbitration hearing has not been set.

There was no immediate comment from the government on the teachers' request.

The teachers have been without a contract since Aug. 31, 2017.

About five months earlier, the federation opted for binding arbitration in the event of an impasse.

The union warned earlier this week that it expects more cuts to education funding in this year's provincial budget, after spending was cut by $55 million last year. (The Canadian Press, CKRM)