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Board and teachers finalize local agreement

Feb 25, 2014 10:45 am | Sam Macdonald

After having worked together for the last few months, teachers and board members of St. Paul Regional Education Division (SPERD) have finalized a local-level collective teacher agreement.

According to a press release from SPERD, the local agreement is part of the larger provincial framework deal, established in September of 2012, and running until August of 2016. The provincial framework was established as an agreement between the Alberta Teacher’s Association (ATA), the Government of Alberta, and the Alberta School Board Association.

The local agreement was decided upon in January, and ratified by the local teacher’s association and SPERD this month.

“Overall, the bigger piece was done at the provincial level. The local-level agreement was completed between division teachers in their committee, and the school board’s committee,” says SPERD Board Chair Heather Starosielski.

The local agreement is a contract between the unionized teaching staff, representing the 270 teachers in the division, and SPERD. It is the result of “a thorough, lengthy collaborative process,” says Starosielski.

The local deal provides improvements for personal leave days for teachers, and entails a workload study meant to reduce unnecessary work, with the quality of teacher workload and working conditions in mind.

According to the release, the local agreement includes a 2.06 per cent salary increase over four years.

Starosielski says the teacher’s committee and the division committee met over the span of a year, coming close to an agreement several times. There was however, only one other potential agreement that came close to being ratified, a memorandum agreement that was eventually voted down.

“This is the result of meeting three more times after the last agreement was voted down. We worked out what needed to be ironed out and came to something everyone will be happy with,” says Starosielski. “It provides stability for students and teachers over the next three years, moving forward.”

The chair also adds, “I think it’s a great deal for our teachers. It’s unfortunate it took as long as it did, but it’s going to serve teachers and students. It’s good we can get past that, and get back to our day-to-day, doing what we’re meant to do - teaching kids.”

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