Teachers will vote on proposed contract
Education: Local boards digesting the news of four-year deal
By: Darlene Casten
| Posted: Friday, Mar 15, 2013 05:48 pm
Local teachers will vote by May 13 on a four-year deal struck between the Alberta Teachers Association and the provincial government.
Premier Alison Redford and Education Minister Jeff Johnson talked about the proposed agreement at a northeast Calgary school Friday morning.
The proposal would freeze teacher’s wages for three years and includes a lump sum payment and a two-percent increase to their salary in 2015. The deal comes with a promise from the Province review teacher’s workloads and will mandate local boards also look at the issue.
The Province said they will conduct an internal review and will hire a third party to study the matter of teacher’s workloads.
Alberta Teachers Association president Carol Henderson said in a joint press release with the Province that she endorses the deal.
“We will be recommending this offer to teachers,” Henderson said.
She said the offer gives stability to teachers.
The agreement comes after many make-ups and break-ups between the Alberta Teacher’s Association and the Province.
Last year tripartite talks between the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA), the ATA and the Province broke down. Johnson continued to bargain with each association separately. In December the teacher’s association gave what it called its final offer, which was rejected by Johnson.
Since then relations between the two sides were strained. There have been talks of legislating a deal and when the Province handed down its budget there was little increase to education budgets.
However, on Friday the ATA and the Province broke their impasse and came up with a deal to be presented to teachers for ratification.
During the press conference in Calgary Johnson said this deal will look at capping instruction time as well.
“We are limiting the amount of hours they can be asked to do instruction that will free up time for other things so there are thresholds that have been set that school boards will be working towards over the next four years,” he said.
Foothills School Division trustee Jerry Muelaner said there is not much new in the most current proposal.
“It is not a lot different than the original deal,” he said.
Muelaner said he had heard rumours a teacher’s contract was set to be legislated last Tuesday and was glad they came to an agreement.
“I’m glad that it’s a peaceful deal,” he said.
Christ the Redeemer Catholic Schools associate superintendent Scott Morrison said they are still looking at the proposal and won’t comment until next week.
“We won’t comment until our board has time to consider it,” he said.