Southwest Sask. teachers lined downtown Swift Current today with signs in hand for a province-wide one-day strike.

The job action, initiated by the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation, saw around 400 local faculty line several blocks of Central Avenue North beginning at 10 a.m.

Coinciding with the strike is the release of the provincial budget this afternoon from the Sask Party government.

"We're hoping within that budget that there is some sort of sign that things are going in the right direction," Callen Boutin, one of the site captains, said. 

teacher protest mar 20 6Swift Current Online's David Zammit (left) interviewing Holy Trinity Teachers' Association councillor Callen Boutin (right)

Teachers provincially will also be withdrawing from extracurricular activities tomorrow and Friday. If the province and STF are unable to resume bargaining talks by 3 p.m. today, Hoopla, the province's high school basketball tournament, slated to start tomorrow will also be cancelled.

Boutin was aware of the Swift Current Comp. Ardens protesting the same streets yesterday in support of teachers.

"It's good to see students or anybody in general fighting for Hoopla and taking our side on things," the grade eight teacher at All Saints Catholic School said. "The last thing we want to do is take away big events like Hoopla. There are major economic impacts and cultural impacts that come with taking that away. It's not our first choice but by doing that it shows the government that we're serious and the public that this is a big matter."

Student's curiosity about the ongoing battle between the STF and the province is beginning to peak within classrooms.

"We try to stick to facts and nothing more," he said. "At this point, they're generally concerned, about what is going to happen and how long is it going to take."