ATA recommends offer from province to teachers
Teacher salaries frozen for three years, study to look at teacher workloads
After rejecting an offer from Alberta Education earlier in the month, the Alberta Teachers Association (ATA) will be recommending a more recent tentative four-year agreement to teachers offered by the province last week.
In a press release from the province, the premier says she is “exceptionally pleased” that an agreement was made “that puts students first,” adding, “We wouldn’t have one of the world’s best education systems without the outstanding skills Alberta teachers bring to our classrooms each and every day.”
According to the ATA, the agreement provides stability in education.
“We will be recommending this offer to teachers. It contains important elements to help provide teachers with more time to focus on improving student learning,” says ATA president Carol Henderson, in the provincial press release.
St. Paul Education Regional Division (SPERD) board chair Maureen Miller says the school board met Sunday evening to discuss the tentative agreement between the province and the ATA.
“Given the recent budget announcement, we do have some concerns that require clarification that we see might have budget implications,” said Miller to the St. Paul Journal via email after the board’s Sunday meeting.
“We are disappointed school boards were not included or even advised of continued talks between the ATA and (Alberta government),” said Miller, adding, ultimately, it’s the education of children that comes first when the board is making decisions.
“We have seen the benefits of the last five years of work peace focus on education, and look forward to continuing with four additional years,” said Miler.
The four-year province-wide agreement will see the salary grid for Alberta teachers frozen for three years, followed by an increase of two per cent in 2015 and a one-time lump sum payment to be funded by government in that same year.
Teachers will now be asked to vote on the agreement. Alberta’s school boards will go through a similar process and talks on issues of a local nature will continue between the ATA locals and school boards.
“A commitment to review teachers’ workload is the cornerstone of the agreement,” says the provincial release. “Alberta Education will conduct an internal review, as well as a third-party study, to look at how teacher workloads can be adjusted in a way that improves the educational experience of Alberta’s 600,000 students. Similar reviews will be carried out by each of Alberta’s 62 schools boards.”
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