Teachers Present Offer to Premier

Release Date: 2012 11 30

Offer proposes four years of labour peace and includes two years of zero per cent salary increases

Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) President Carol Henderson is calling on Premier Alison Redford to accept an offer from the province’s teachers to secure labour peace in all of Alberta’s 62 public, separate and francophone school jurisdictions.

“We want to ensure labour peace and stability in Alberta’s schools and we recognize the Redford administration’s desire to be fiscally responsible,” says Henderson. “Our solution will allow us to continue to work with government and school boards to improve Alberta’s already outstanding education system.”

The ATA is proposing a four-year agreement that includes freezing teachers’ salary grids in 2012-13 and 2013-14 and limiting further increases to 1% in 2014-15 and 3% in 2015-16. An adjustment effective this year would be made to salaries in jurisdictions where salary grids are below the provincial average.

With the most significant cost items being dealt with at the provincial level, any remaining matters would be settled through negotiation between individual school boards and their teachers or, if necessary, through binding arbitration. There would be no strikes or lockouts for the duration of the agreement, extending the ATA’s record of labour peace to nearly a decade.

The proposed agreement includes measures to reduce the time teachers must spend on bureaucratic non-instructional tasks, freeing them to work with students. The Association is seeking to establish conditions of practice that will help teachers to best meet student needs.

“Teachers are asking government and school boards to help them do their best work for students,” says Henderson. “Our proposals on professional development and workload will focus teachers on student learning while laying the groundwork for a more flexible, individualized approach to education.”

Without a provincial framework, local bargaining will continue in each of the 62 jurisdictions on all matters in dispute. Henderson says, “teachers’ concerns still need to be addressed and salary concessions will be off the table – local bargaining may prove difficult.”

“I am prepared to recommend this proposal to teachers,” says Henderson. “We are urging the Premier to accept this offer and to recommend it to school boards.”

The Alberta Teachers' Association, as the professional organization of Alberta’s 42,000 teachers, promotes and advances public education, safeguards standards of professional practice and serves as the advocate for its members.

Highlights of the ATA’s proposal are contained in the attached backgrounder. Also attached, is the full text of the proposal and a copy of the President’s letter to Premier Redford.

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