Mental health, GSAs and Catholic education top debate at ATA’s 100th annual meeting

The Alberta Teachers’ Association will mark the beginning of its centenary at the 100th Annual Representative Assembly (ARA) this weekend in Edmonton. More than 200 resolutions will be on the table for debate among the over 400 teacher representatives, including resolutions dealing with mental health supports in schools, gay–straight alliances and support for Catholic education in Alberta. Resolutions related to funding for high schools and for inclusive education will also be debated.

At the meeting, teachers will hear from Education Minister David Eggen and will present the Public Education Award to former Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman. Other surprises are in store for delegates at this year’s ARA as part of the launch of the Association’s celebrations of its 100th year.

“The Association is a policy-driven organization and since day one, democracy has been at the heart of our Association,” said ATA president Mark Ramsankar. “The Annual Representative Assembly has for 100 years been a forum for Alberta’s teaching profession to come together, to discuss important issues in education and to have teachers set the policy direction of their ATA. We have never shied away from dealing with the tough issues of the day, and this year will be no exception.”

ARA opens on Saturday, May 20 at 0900 with a special centenary video message, greetings from Minister Eggen and the presentation of the Association’s honorary membership and public education awards. President Mark Ramsankar will provide his final address to ARA, and Executive Secretary Gordon Thomas will deliver his final report, as the Association’s top two officials will move on to other ventures in the year ahead. Debate of resolutions on emergent issues in education is scheduled to begin at 1330 on Saturday, May 20. ARA runs May 20–22 and is open to the public and media.

ARA is where ATA policy is debated and set. It is attended by more than 400 teacher delegates from every school jurisdiction in Alberta, representing all 55 ATA locals.

The Alberta Teachers’ Association, as the professional organization of teachers, promotes and advances public education, safeguards standards of professional practice and serves as the advocate for its 46,000 members.

Media detail and ARA schedule are attached.

To arrange an interview with ATA President Mark Ramsankar, contact 
cell: 780-977-6766

Alberta teachers gather to debate policy in Edmonton May 20–22

More than 400 teachers representing every school jurisdiction across the province will be in Edmonton this May long weekend for the 100th Annual Representative Assembly (ARA) of the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA).

Media Detail
Members of the media are invited to attend any and all portions of ARA, with the exception of the budget session, which starts Sunday at 1330 and is scheduled for the remainder of the day.

Event: ATA 100th Annual Representative Assembly
Dates: May 20–22 (Saturday 0900–1730, Sunday 0900–2230, Monday 0900–1300)
Location: The Westin Edmonton, 10135 100 St NW, Edmonton
Contact: E-mail or text Laura Harris on arrival (, 780-977-6766)

Saturday Schedule
0900–1145 Opening Session

  • Call to order, announcements and national anthem
  • Special video greeting
  • Greetings from Education Minister David Eggen and presidents of the Alberta School   Boards Association and Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF)
  • ATA Honorary Membership Award: Dr Jim Parsons
  • Special Recognition Award: Perry Dorgan
  • Public Education Award: Laurie Blakeman
  • 2016 ARA Minutes
  • President’s address: Mark Ramsankar
  • Returning officers’ report
  • ATA annual report: Gordon Thomas, executive secretary and CEO    

1145 Adjourn
1330 Reconvene

  • Debate resolutions on emergent issues in education: mental health supports in schools, gay–straight alliances, support for Catholic education in Alberta, funding for high schools and funding for inclusive education.
  • Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund Board
  • Debate of resolutions    

Sunday Schedule
0900–1145; 1330–1730; 1930–2230

  • Continue debate of resolutions
  • Financial statements for 2015/16
  • Discussion of 2016/17 Association budget (closed session)    

Monday Schedule

  • Remaining business
  • If the business of the ATA is completed Sunday, Monday’s session is not required.  

Social Media
Use @albertateachers or #ARA2017 on Twitter to follow the proceedings.