Transformation talks underway

October 19, 2010

ATA, school boards and government discuss future of education

Representatives of the Alberta Teachers’ Association and the Alberta School Boards Association are meeting at the invitation of Minister of Education David Hancock to discuss the shape of Alberta’s education system following the conclusion of the current five-year agreement in 2012.

The discussions, which span a broad range of topics, are seen as instrumental in defining and achieving what Minister Hancock describes as transformational change in Alberta’s education system. The objective is to develop a framework agreement that would continue past 2010, ensuring the continuation of labour peace and providing key decisions and a roadmap to accomplish “transformation” of the education system.

As this issue of the ATA News goes to print, talks are at an early stage and the parties are not in a position to make any substantive announcements. It is anticipated that the process will continue through November.

Commenting on the process, Executive Secretary Gordon Thomas, who is heading the Association’s representation in the talks, said: “Government and the Alberta School Boards Association are approaching these discussions with open minds and are making some promising proposals. I’m pleased with what we are hearing so far.” Thomas emphasized that the talks are unlike any he has ever participated in. “These are not conventional negotiations, in tone, scope or ambition. We hope to have something that we can report to teachers in the near future.”