Staff Top of page

The authorized complement of executive staff is 35, including an executive staff officer seconded to a local association on a cost-recovery basis. The following changes in executive staff appointments occurred during the year: (1) D R Grassick was hired as an executive staff officer in Professional Development on 2016 01 01; (2) N J Luyckfassel was hired as an executive staff officer in Professional Development on 2016 01 01; (3) D J Matson was hired as an executive staff officer in Member Services on 2016 01 01; (4) J T Sherwin retired as acting associate coordinator, Member Services on 2016 05 31; (5) K A de Goeij returned to associate coordinator, Member Services, administrator assistance from Edmonton Public Teachers Local No 37; (6) K EMoench returned to associate coordinator, Member Services, SARO from Calgary Separate School Local No 55 and (7) P W Loyer was assigned in the continued secondment agreement to Calgary Separate School Local No 55 as of 2016 02 08. One executive staff officer, C W Schoffer, is available for assignments in more than one program area and was assigned predominantly to Teacher Welfare in 2016. Executive Secretary G R Thomas announced his intention to retire effective 2018 01 31 and a process was initiated to name a new executive secretary.

Statistics on the services provided by executive staff are shown in Table 15.


Table 15. Average Amount of Service Provided by Executive Staff Officers, 2012 to 2016







Days worked (including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays)






Saturdays, Sundays and holidays worked






Evenings worked






Kilometres travelled on ATA business







The Association employs 51 intermediate staff and 76 clerical staff.

Document Production and DistributionTop of page

In 2016 (2015 figures are given in parentheses), approximately 5.4 (5.8) million impressions were made, involving 2,562 (2,390) work orders. The number of impressions produced on the photocopiers was 5.3 million (5.6 million). Of these, 85.2 (84.3) per cent were produced for the provincial Association, 6.2 (8.0) per cent for specialist councils and 8.5 (7.7) per cent for other groups.

The number of impressions on the envelope printer was 144.4 (165.1) thousand. Approximately 88.1 (70.5) per cent of these impressions were for the provincial Association, 11.9 (13.8) for specialist councils and .01 (15.7) per cent for other groups.

Outside printers were contracted to print a number of jobs having requirements that exceeded the capabilities of in-house equipment. These jobs included the Members’ Handbook, the Member’s Diary and various booklets.

There were 45 (82) bulk mailings to local associations: 51 (35) to local presidents, 58 (35) to local secretaries and 8 to local student associations. These mailings dispatched 109 (173) items.

In its 10 (10) scheduled mailings to school representatives, the Association distributed 130 (138) items. In addition, three special mailings were organized to distribute information about calls for nominations for the byelections and a call for nominations for the 2017 Provincial Executive Council election.

Information and Technology Services Top of page

In 2016, the Association upgraded its servers, laptops, monitors, printers and software. In addition, comprehensive infrastructure changes were made in Barnett House and SARO. Firewalls and network switches were replaced with newer technology that provides vastly improved security against malware and supports advanced strategic security planning moving forward. As part of the infrastructure changes all wireless antennae were replaced with advanced Wi-Fi technology that improves both security and performance. To further protect against malware attacks, particularly same-day release and attack, a cloud service was engaged to filter potentially threatening e-mail before it reaches the Association technology infrastructure.

With respect to unified communications, the Association continued to integrate computers, telephony, instant messaging, videoconferencing and web conferencing. The standard telephone protocol service in SARO was entirely replaced with a digital service, completing conversion to VoIP and also providing data transmission redundancy to enhance reliability of our network schema.

To improve the reliability and protection of the membership database, enhancements were made to the Association’s off-site real-time back-up process. Reports for the membership database were modified as per the request of program areas. Staff also analyzed the data to ensure its accuracy.

The following changes were made to online services: (1) security was enhanced based on a vulnerability assessment performed by an independent company, (2) software components were enhanced to facilitate online voting for the provincial Association elections and a ratification vote for provincial bargaining, (3) hardware and software modifications were implemented at Rogers Data Centre to support online voting, and (4) software was developed and implemented to support online self-serve member cards. Online voting for two by-elections was successfully conducted. At year-end, the Association was hosting websites for 20 specialist councils (12 in 2015), 50 locals (40 in 2015) and 3 teachers’ convention associations (3 in 2015). Six additional subgroups were using the Association to host secure members-only sites. In addition, Information and Technology Services provided workshops for web managers to support web hosting.

Records ManagementTop of page

In 2016, the Association continued to receive, process and securely destroy records eligible for destruction that gave evidence of the activities of the provincial Association, locals, committees, task forces, specialist councils and convention associations. In 2016, the records team: (1) securely destroyed obsolete administrative and operational records; (2) securely destroyed Member Services contact forms and case files meeting the closure criteria and maximum retention period of 15 years; (3) developed repositories for the records of locals, convention associations and specialist councils; (4) warehoused incoming materials waiting assessment; (5) provided staff, local executive members, student local members, local presidents, convention attendees, Summer Conference attendees and executives with training on implementing records management controls; (6) carried out research for Association staff, subgroup staff and Provincial Executive Council; (7) completed schedules for the destruction of records according to the approved records retention schedule; (8) audited the outgoing records of all retiring members of intermediate and executive staff; (9) conducted in-service and training sessions for staff and volunteers; (10) converted (scanned) document holdings to digital format for inclusion in records management and archival collections; and (11) supervised the secure physical destruction of records that the Association no longer maintained for business purposes in accordance with the Personal Information Protection Act. In 2016, central records staff continued to assist in providing additional circulation assistance to library patrons.

ArchivesTop of page

In 2016, the archives continued to accession, preserve, describe and process provincial and subgroups records deemed to be of permanent legal, financial administrative and/or historical value to the Association. The archives processed and created a record number of new physical accessions (108), including minutes, correspondence and reports of committees and task forces, documents relating to the Association’s history and monographs, and Association publications and research reports. Throughout the year, the archives received, assessed and accessioned material donated by Association members. The archives also increased the total number of digitally converted files to 47,859 files in 2,167 folders.

The archives provided general research support to both Association and, with permission of the Executive Secretary G R Thomas, extramural researchers. The archives also assisted J S Buski and E Clintberg in their ongoing research projects for the Association and the centennial projects. The archives also liaised with the Provincial Archives of Alberta, the City of Edmonton Archives and the Edmonton Public School Boards Archives with respect to such matters as information-sharing techniques and material donations. Archives staff attended professional development activities related to preservation of materials and other professional development goals. In addition, the archives continued its membership in the Archives Society of Alberta as an associate institutional member.

Regulation Compliance, Privacy and CASLTop of page

With respect to privacy compliance, the Association responded to four requests for access to information under the Personal Information Protection Act. In addition, the privacy officer conducted training with all incoming staff; provided field support and training to Association subgroups including convention associations, locals and specialist councils; and provided to all levels of staff support and advice on such issues as compliance with respect to consent to collect, use and disclose personal information.

The Association continues to monitor the developments of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). Specialist Councils are most affected by CASL, and key contacts in each council are provided with the required information to ensure compliance.

BuildingsTop of page

In 2016, the Association added more office space in Human Resources to accommodate two additional staff. The following building modifications were made to Barnett House in 2016: replacement of custom-made blinds for the skylights in the Provincial Executive Chambers, replacement of the lift for the loading dock at the print shop, replacement of the stucco siding on the north side of Seymour Tower, and replacement of the sidewalk to the main entrance to improve safety.

Food Services cafeteria and catering revenues amounted to $730,973 and meeting room rentals amounted to $78,745, for a total of $809,718.

The Association continues to periodically assess office space in Calgary for potential purchase.

In 2016, the Association engaged in preliminary work with architects and the City of Edmonton with respect to the future expansion at Barnett House, which the Committee on the Renovation and Expansion of Barnett House (see section 13) will continue to oversee.

Special Emergency FundTop of page

In 2016, the Special Emergency Fund was used to (1) cover expenses in the amount of $44,512 for an emergent meeting of local presidents, economic policy committee chairs and economic consultants and (2) match the donations that locals made to the Canadian Red Cross to aid victims of the wildfires in Fort McMurray in the amount of $100,000.

During the year $406,000 was allocated to the fund through the budget process. Investment earnings for the fund were $1,394,135 as of December 2015. The balance of the fund as of 2016 08 31 was $20,841,709.

Capital FundTop of page

The Capital Fund was established to fund the costs of furniture, equipment and major renovations. During the year, $1,110,000 was allocated to the fund through the budget process. Net investment earnings were $258,105 as of 2015 12 31. The fund was used to purchase equipment and furnishings valued at $576,575. The balance of the fund at year-end was $7,046,536.

SARO Lease FundTop of page

The SARO Lease Fund was created to provide investment income to offset the costs of leasing space for the Calgary office. Income from the fund in excess of leasing costs is available for general operations. If the investment income is not sufficient to cover the leasing costs, the difference is paid from general revenues. The net book value balance of the fund at yearend was $1,945,861.