Employment as a Teacher
The Professional Standards Branch of Alberta Education is responsible for the evaluation of credentials and issuance of certification for teachers in Alberta.
The requirements for interim certification in the province are a minimum of sixteen years of schooling, inclusive of four years of university education, and a recognized degree that includes, or is supplemented with, a structured, preservice teacher preparation program from an institution acceptable to the minister of education. The program must include, at minimum, 48 semester-hour credits (1 and 3/5 years) in professional teacher education coursework, inclusive of a minimum of 10 weeks in supervised student teaching at the elementary or secondary level. Currently, all preservice teacher education programs in Alberta exceed the minimum requirements both in the amount of coursework and weeks of practicum that are required to complete their programs. Depending upon the institution, up to one year of advanced credit may be given to qualified journeymen who enter the vocational education route and to persons holding acceptable credentials in music, drama or art.
For applicants who have graduated from a teacher education program at an Alberta institution, an interim professional certificate is generally issued on the recommendation of the dean of a faculty offering a bachelor of education program, providing other qualifications have been met.
The certificate is valid for up to three years with the possibility of extension if needed. To move to permanent certification an individual must have taught for a minimum of two school years (or equivalent) in the province’s school system (public, separate, private, charter, francophone and band schools) and receive a written recommendation for permanent certification by the superintendent of schools or other officer acceptable to the minister of education attesting that the teacher’s practice consistently demonstrates the knowledge, skills and attributes (KSA) for permanent certification as identified in the Teaching Quality Standard Applicable to the Provision of Basic Education in Alberta, Ministerial Order (#016/97).
Due to the recent Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT), teachers from outside Alberta who hold valid Canadian certification can obtain certification in Alberta without additional training and examination, with the exception of teachers who hold a certificate with a limited scope of practice. A teaching certificate with a limited scope of practice is one that restricts teaching practice to certain grade levels or specific subject areas. This is only applicable to teachers who hold a valid teaching certificate from another Canadian jurisdiction. It does not apply to teachers who hold a certificate that has been suspended or revoked or has expired.
Two types of certificates can be issued in Alberta to teachers with Canadian certification:
1. Certificated teachers from Canadian jurisdictions whose scope of practice as denoted on their teaching certificates is the same as in Alberta (can teach in kindergarten through Grade 12) will be granted an interim professional certificate with no additional requirements.
2. Certificated teachers from Canadian jurisdictions whose scope of practice as denoted on their teaching certificates is different from Alberta’s scope of practice will be issued a letter of authority. The letter will include the same conditions on scope of practice (grade levels and subject areas) as established by the current certificating jurisdiction.
The letter of authority is issued for three years and can be renewed. However, teachers can take additional coursework to meet the requirements for interim certification and can then apply for an interim professional certificate. Only days taught under an interim professional certificate can be counted toward permanent certification.
Director, Teacher Development and Certification Branch
44 Capital Boulevard
10044 108 Street NW
Edmonton, AB T5J 5E6
Teacher Qualifications Service
Alberta Teachers’ Association
11010 142 Street NW
Edmonton, AB T5N 2R1
Obtaining a position
Whether new to teaching in Alberta or merely wishing to change employers, most teachers secure a teaching position by applying to the superintendent. Sometimes application is made on forms provided by school boards; however, it is common for teachers to write their own letters. An application must specify the teacher’s desires with respect to geographic location, grade level and subject preference. A copy of the application letter should be retained since it may be the only record of any conditions that the teacher placed on the type of assignment deemed acceptable. If the application was in response to a specific advertisement, a copy of it should be kept as well. Copies of all correspondence should be kept.
An applicant should attach copies of evaluation reports, if any. University transcripts and recent student teaching reports are often required. Copies rather than original documents should be used to avoid loss of originals. Catholic jurisdictions require a reference letter from a priest or pastor.
The teacher should maintain a permanent file of all documents and retain a list of all boards to which applications are submitted.
Nature of a teaching contract
In Alberta, a teacher’s contract is made up of three parts: (a) an exchange of offer and acceptance, (b) specified clauses of the School Act and (c) the collective agreement between the employing board and the Alberta Teachers’ Association. The first part may contain specific provisions that do not conflict with the other two.
Section 97 of the School Act deals with contracts of employment between a board and a teacher.
(5) Every contract of employment between a board and a teacher shall
(a) be in writing,
(b) be offered to a teacher by a person acting on behalf of the board, and
(c) be accepted by the teacher.
(6) For the purposes of this Division, an offer, acceptance, confirmation, statement or notification shall be in writing and shall be
(a) sent by registered or ordinary mail or by courier to,
(b) personally served on, or
(c) sent by fax or electronic mail to
the person to whom it is addressed.
Note that the offer and acceptance, which together constitute a contract, shall be in writing and may be delivered by a variety of methods, including by hand.
The School Act does not specify the period of time to elapse between the receipt of the offer of employment and the acceptance in writing by the teacher. The significance of this fact is that the teacher and the person acting on behalf of the board must agree on the period of time that the teacher will be allowed to decide about the position. Ideally, that period would be specified in the offer. If it is not, the teacher would be wise to clarify this point if wishing to wait a few days before accepting. A teacher should be wary of a verbal offer of a position when it is not immediately confirmed by an offer in writing.
The offer of a position and its acceptance within the agreed time limit, both in writing, constitute a contract of employment between a teacher and a school board. All the terms and conditions of employment that are contained in the collective agreement between the Alberta Teachers’ Association and the employing board apply to each teacher and are part of the individual’s contract. No teacher can agree with a board to accept conditions or responsibilities that are in conflict with those specified in the collective agreement.
A further requirement is that no agreement between a board and a teacher is valid if it negates or contravenes those matters covered by sections 96 to 99 and 101 to 110 of the School Act. These sections define the length of the contract, give the superintendent the right to transfer a teacher, specify the conditions under which a board or a teacher can terminate a contract of employment, specify the reasons and manner in which a suspension or termination of a teacher can be carried out and provide the teacher with the right to appeal to the Board of Reference in case of a suspension or termination. Therefore, all these matters must be handled in a manner consistent with the statute and not by any other mutual agreement in conflict with it. No teacher should sign a contract that purports to waive or supersede these rights without first seeking advice from the Association.
Section 97(3)(c) allows the board and the teacher to specify further contract provisions about matters that are not dealt with by either the collective agreement or the aforementioned sections of the act. If, for example, the collective agreement does not in any way specify conditions for noon-hour supervision or for cocurricular activities, it would be permissible for the board and the teacher to make some agreement about such a matter. Teachers could make use of this section to specify grade level or subject matter assignments that they are willing to accept. Teachers offered conditions about which they are dubious should consult the Association prior to accepting the offer.
Most teachers, particularly those just entering the profession or new to the province, will start employment with a board under a probationary contract, a provision introduced by the School Act 1988. Section 98 sets out the requirements. The contract must be for a complete school year, cannot be offered to someone employed by the board in the preceding school year (other than as a substitute or temporary contract teacher—see below) and will terminate on the following June 30. If, at the end of the year, the employer’s evaluations of the teacher so indicate and the teacher agrees, the probationary contract may be extended for an additional period not exceeding a second
98(1) A board may employ a teacher under a probationary contract of employment for a complete school year if that teacher
(a) was not employed by that board as a teacher in the school year prior to the school year in which the contract was entered into, or
(b) was employed by that board in the school year prior to the school year in which the contract was entered into under section 100 or under a contract referred to in section 101.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a teacher employed under section 103 is deemed to have been employed by the board under a probationary contract of employment if at the conclusion of a school year the total amount of time that the teacher taught for the board is at least equal to the amount of time the teacher would have been required to teach in a complete school year if the teacher had been employed by the board to teach on a full-time basis.
(3) A probationary contract of employment shall terminate on the June 30 next following the commencement date specified in the contract.
(4) Notwithstanding subsection (3), if evaluations of the teacher indicate to the board that a further probationary period is required and the teacher agrees, the probationary contract of employment may be extended for a further period ending no later than the June 30 next following the date of the renewal of the contract.
The interim contract is described in section 102. Although there is a suggestion that this was intended to provide for limited time projects, nothing in the act restricts it to that purpose. Rather, it seems that the most common use will be for employing teachers new to the system who start work after the year has begun. An interim contract can be for up to 360 consecutive teaching days and may be offered only to the same individuals who would also qualify for a probationary contract. It normally expires on June 30, but a different date may be specified in the contract.
A probationary contract may not immediately follow an interim contract nor vice versa.
102(1) A board may employ a teacher for a period of not more than 360 teaching days under an interim contract of employment if that teacher
(a) was not employed by that board as a teacher in the school year immediately prior to the school year in which the interim contract of employment commences, or
(b) was employed under section 100 or under a contract referred to in section 101 by that board in the school year immediately prior to the school year in which the interim contract of employment commences.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a teacher employed under section 103 is deemed to have been employed by the board under an interim contract of employment if at the conclusion of a school year the total amount of time that the teacher taught for the board is at least equal to the amount of time the teacher would have been required to teach in a complete school year if the teacher had been employed by the board to teach on a full-time basis.
(3) An interim contract of employment terminates on the June 30 next following the commencement date specified in the contract unless otherwise specified in the contract.
101(1) A teacher may be employed by a board under a temporary contract of employment when that teacher is employed for the purpose of replacing a teacher who is absent from his duties for a period of 20 or more consecutive teaching days.
(2) A temporary contract of employment entered into under
subsection (1) shall
(a) specify the date on which the teacher commences employment with the board, and
(i) on the June 30 next following the commencement date specified in the contract, or
(ii) on a date provided for in the contract,
whichever is earlier.
(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in a temporary contract of employment, a party to a temporary contract of employment may terminate that contract by giving 30 days’ written notice of the termination to the other party to the contract.
(4) Section 132 does not apply to the termination of a temporary contract of employment under this section.
Section 101 of the act deals with temporary contracts. These are used when a teacher is employed to fill a vacancy expected to be 20 or more consecutive teaching days. This written contract must specify the starting date; it may specify the ending date, but if it does not, it ends on June 30. It may be terminated earlier by either party giving 30 days’ notice to the other. In this event there is generally no appeal to the Board of Reference.
Teachers are cautioned about temporary contracts that expire “on the return of the teacher.” Although this clause provides a legitimate reason for the board to terminate the temporay contract, the board must still provide 30 days’ notice as required under the School Act.
A teacher may, under section 100 of the act, be employed (a) on a day-to-day basis or (b) to occupy a vacancy that is expected to be less than 20 consecutive teaching days. It frequently happens that a vacancy filled by a substitute teacher extends beyond 20 teaching days. In this event, a temporary contract, which provides 30 days’ notice of termination, should be provided to the teacher in the position. Whether or not a temporary contract comes into effect, most collective agreements provide that, after a specified number of consecutive teaching days in the same position, salary changes from substitute pay to that determined by the salary grid. A few agreements provide full grid placement from day one.
100(1) A teacher may teach without a contract of employment that is in accordance with section 97 only when the teacher is employed
(a) on a day to day basis, or
(b) to occupy a vacancy that is expected to be less than 20 consecutive teaching days in duration.
(2) Neither a teacher who teaches without a contract of employment that is in accordance with section 97 nor the board employing the teacher may appeal to the Board of Reference.
A board may employ a teacher on a continuing contract. If the board has been employing the teacher either under a probationary contract (or an extended probationary contract) or under an interim contract, and the board wishes to employ that teacher in the next school year and the teacher agrees, the teacher is on a continuing contract. While this is the normal process, a board can also hire a teacher new to the division or a teacher who has been on a temporary contract provided these teachers have demonstrated successful teaching with at least two full evaluations. If the board does not wish to employ such a teacher, it is not legally required to provide the teacher with reasons for that decision, assuming that it is acting in good faith. However, it is morally obligated to do so. A teacher in such a situation, if genuinely ignorant of the reasons, should request them from the superintendent.
The continuing contract is a contract that remains in force from year to year without any further documentation being required. Any teacher offered a contract that does not conform to this requirement should immediately consult an Association staff officer prior to any action on the contract offer.
TEACHERS’ EMPLOYMENT ARRANGEMENTS IN ALBERTA
[The School Act, 2000 with Amendments in Force as ofDecember 2007]
TYPE OF CONTRACT
MAY BE OFFERED TO
a) teacher not on staff in prior year or for a period equivalent to a full year of service.
b) substitute or on temporary contract in prior year
complete school year (or full-time equivalent); terminates June 30
once, if evaluation indicates a need and if teacher agrees
premature termination may be appealed to Board of Reference; on prescribed termination date, no obligation on board to provide reasons for non-reemployment
same as above
up to 360 consecutive teaching days; terminates next June 30 or as specified
replacement for minimum of 20 consecutive teaching days; terminates June 30 or on the date specified
further temporary contracts permitted
termination on 30 days’ notice; no appeal
any termination may be appealed to Board of Reference; notice must be minimum of 30 days by either party and may not be served during, or less than 30 days prior to, a vacation of 14 or more days
unlimited, unless absent teacher to be gone for 20 or more consecutive teaching days
termination without notice;
generally no appeal
Position may be probationary, interim, temporary or continuing and above rules apply, except that school board may vary fraction of time for next semester or school year and if teacher does not accept, board may terminate, in which case there is generally no appeal.
Note: This is general advice only and should not be applied to your personal situation without direct contact.
Any of the above employment arrangements may be on a part-time basis. In the case of probationary and interim contracts, all requirements should be interpreted as full-time equivalents. Thus a probationary contract that is half-time could be valid for two years or an interim contract could be for up to 720 half-time consecutive teaching days. A continuing part-time contract, like a continuing full-time contract, is subject to appeal to a Board of Reference if terminated by one party. However, if the teacher is employed under a part-time contract, there is a unique provision: the board may vary the fraction of time the teacher is required to teach in the subsequent year or semester. If the board varies the amount of time and the teacher does not agree to teach for that new amount of time, the board may terminate the contract. In that event, except in unusual circumstances, the teacher does not have the right to appeal to the Board of Reference.
Drastic changes in the amount of assigned time under a part-time contract may constitute a constructive termination of the contract. Contact an Association staff officer if you are in this situation.
Terminating a Contract
The School Act, in sections 107 and 108, provides that either a school board or a teacher may terminate a contract by giving not less than 30 days’ notice in writing of intention to do so. Such a notice may not be given at any time in the 30 days preceding or during a vacation of 14 or more days’ duration. In most cases this condition means that a teacher may not give the board notice after the end of May or before the first of September, though the actual dates will vary from one jurisdiction to another since they depend on the specific school calendar. Similarly, teachers should note that when the Christmas vacation lasts 14 or more days, resignation is prohibited for 30 days preceding and during that vacation.
A letter of resignation should clearly state the effective date of termination and should be in the hands of the appropriate school board official a full 30 days before the intended termination date. Date of receipt can be certain if the letter is personally delivered or sent by registered mail, though other forms of transmission are acceptable.
A teacher who intends to resign should give the board as much notice as possible. The 30 days required by the School Act is a minimum. Resignations during a school year should be infrequent and for strong reasons only, such as urgent personal circumstances or intolerable working conditions. Resignations for trivial or frivolous reasons are not in the best interests of children or of education generally.
The School Act provides for termination by mutual consent. Occasionally a teacher has to request release during a vacation period or on less than 30 days’ notice. Most school boards and superintendents are cooperative and release by mutual consent is not difficult to arrange when the circumstances are justified and a replacement is readily available.
A teacher does not have to resign because someone (anyone) makes such a request. A teacher who is asked to resign should contact the Association before any letter of resignation is signed or submitted.
Resignation prior to having rendered service under a contract is particularly frowned upon. Section 108 provides that in such a case no other board in the province may employ the teacher without first obtaining the consent of the original board. When a teacher accepts a position, it is expected that more enticing subsequent offers will be resisted.
Any resignation that does not meet the conditions described above (that is, 30 days’ notice in proper time or consent of the board) may constitute unprofessional conduct and could, therefore, lead to the teacher being charged before the Professional Conduct Committee of the Association.
Termination or suspension by school boards
Tenure is the right of a teacher to have a contract of employment with a school board continue so long as no adequate cause for its termination arises. Having a continuing contract with a board is tenure. The School Act provides that a contract of employment between a board and a teacher terminates if the teacher’s certificate is suspended or cancelled by the minister or if the certificate of qualifications (such as a letter of authority) expires. The Teaching Profession Act provides that a board may not continue to employ a teacher who ceases to be a member of the Association except as provided in the act.
18(1) A teacher while providing instruction or supervision must
(a) provide instruction competently to students;
(b) teach the courses of study and education programs that are prescribed, approved or authorized pursuant to this Act;
(c) promote goals and standards applicable to the provision of education adopted or approved pursuant to this Act;
(d) encourage and foster learning in students;
(e) regularly evaluate students and periodically report the results of the evaluation to the students, the students’ parents and the board;
(f) maintain, under the direction of the principal, order and discipline among the students while they are in the school or on the school grounds and while they are attending or participating in activities sponsored or approved by the board;
(g) subject to any applicable collective agreement and the teacher’s contract of employment, carry out those duties that are assigned to the teacher by the principal or the board.
(2) At any time during the period of time that a teacher is under an obligation to the board to provide instruction or supervision or to carry out duties assigned to the teacher by a principal or the board, a teacher must, at the request of the board,
(a) participate in curriculum development and field testing of new curriculum;
(b) develop, field test and mark provincial achievement tests and diploma examinations;
(c) supervise student teachers
Termination of Contract
Loss of employment could occur if the teacher was suspended or expelled from membership as a penalty under the discipline process, following conviction on a charge of unprofessional conduct, or suspended by the Executive Secretary pending results of a discipline investigation or hearing.
The School Act provides that a school board shall act reasonably if it terminates the contract of a teacher. Reasonable has a definition in law and it may be presumed that a board would be judged to have acted reasonably if it established that the teacher was incompetent, if something serious in the mode of life or character of the teacher was judged to be detrimental to the students of the school or if the termination was necessary to accomplish a required reduction in district staff. Other reasonable grounds for termination would include excessive or flagrant breaches of section 18 of the School Act (see box on page 10).
Prior to serving notice of termination, a school board or superintendent must give notice of its intent to consider such action. Actions taken must comply with the rules of natural justice: (a) reasons for possible termination must be given; (b) the teacher must be given the opportunity to appear at a hearing in person, alone or with an advocate, or to be represented by counsel to answer to these reasons; and (c) the teacher must have enough time to prepare a case.
The School Act permits a board or an authorized superintendent to suspend a teacher to whom notice of termination has been given. It also provides in section 105 for suspension if the board has reasonable grounds for believing that the teacher has been guilty of gross misconduct, neglect of duty or refusal or neglecting to obey a lawful order of the board. In either case, the teacher is paid his/her regular salary during the period of suspension. A teacher may appeal a suspension under section 105 to the Board of Reference, which may reinstate the teacher or confirm the suspension. If the suspension is confirmed, the school board may reinstate the teacher or may terminate the teacher’s contract. If it chooses to terminate in this sequence of events, it is deemed to have acted reasonably and no further appeal to the Board of Reference on that point would be allowed.
School boards and superintendents do not have the right under the provisions of the School Act to dismiss a teacher summarily; that is, at once and without notice, except after conviction of an indictable offence as per section 109(2). It must be recognized, however, that the school board has authority to adopt policy and to make rules. Section 18 explicitly requires the teacher to carry out duties assigned by the board. In some instances the rules or duties may be part of the collective agreement. In any event, any such rules must be reasonable. This requirement is based on at least three sources: the common law of master and servant, the provisions of the School Act and the Labour Relations Code, all of which may relate to the dismissal of teachers.
Termination of designation
20 A principal of a school must
(a) provide instructional leadership in the school;
(b) ensure that the instruction provided by the teachers employed in the school is consistent with the courses of study and education programs prescribed, approved or authorized pursuant to this Act;
(c) evaluate or provide for the evaluation of programs offered in the school;
(d) ensure that students in the school have the opportunity to meet the standards of education set by the Minister;
(e) direct the management of the school;
(f) maintain order and discipline in the school and on the school grounds and during activities sponsored or approved by the board;
(g) promote co-operation between the school and the community that it serves;
(h) supervise the evaluation and advancement of students;
(i) evaluate the teachers employed in the school;
(j) subject to any applicable collective agreement and the principal’s contract of employment, carry out those duties that are assigned to the principal by the board in accordance with the regulations and the requirements of the school council and the board.
A school board may terminate a teacher’s designation without terminating the teaching contract. All the observations on termination of contracts in the foregoing section also apply to terminations of designation. Reasons would, of course, have to relate to performance or behaviour of the teacher in the designated role only. In the case of a principal, the reasons could include serious or flagrant breaches of section 20 of the School Act
. Termination of a designation is appealable to a Board of Reference.
Appeal of termination or suspension
If a teacher’s contract is terminated by a school board or superintendent on 30 days’ notice, the teacher may appeal to the Board of Reference within 21 days of receipt of the notice of termination. The appeal must be in writing, must set out the board’s reasons for the termination, should indicate the reason(s) for contesting the board’s decision and must be dispatched to the minister of education by registered mail along with a $250 certified cheque or money order as a deposit.
A teacher is urged to consult with the Association as soon as a termination notice is received so that, if the choice is to appeal, help in filing an appeal in the proper form may be given. In most cases, the teacher would already have had the assistance of an Association staff officer at the district level hearing.
A teacher filing an appeal may ask that the Association provide the services of its solicitors at Association expense. If such a request is made, an investigation of the circumstances involved in the termination of contract will be carried out and the solicitor’s advice sought as to what arguments can be made on behalf of the teacher. While Association support may not be granted in certain cases, such a decision in no way prejudices the teacher’s right to proceed with the appeal, if so desired, at the teacher’s own expense.
138(1) In deciding the matter being appealed, the Board of Reference may make an order doing one or more of the following:
(a) confirming the termination, suspension or refusal to give an approval;
(b) changing the termination date of a contract of employment or of a designation;
(c) directing the board
(i) to reinstate the contract of employment or the designation of a teacher, or
(ii) to give the approval;
(d) removing the suspension;
(e) confirming the suspension and authorizing the board to terminate the contract of employment of the teacher;
(f) directing a board to pay to the teacher an amount of money equivalent to the teacher’s salary for a specified period;
(g) authorizing a board not to pay salary to the teacher for a specified period;
(h) providing for any matter not referred to in clauses (a) to (g) that the Board considers just in the circumstances.
(2) In making an order under subsection (1)(c)(i) or (d), the Board of Reference may take into consideration any matter that the Board of Reference considers relevant, but in making that order the Board of Referene must consider at least the following:
(a) whether the teacher is guilty of gross misconduct;
(b) whether the teacher refused to obey a lawful order of the board without justification;
(c) the risk to the safety of students, co-workers and the teacher;
(d) the ability of the teacher to perform teaching duties effectively;
(e) the effect of reinstatement on the future relationship between the board and the teacher;
(f) the possibility of recidivism;
(g) whether the reinstatement would have the effect of undermining the confidence of Albertans in general in the public education system;
(h) fairness to the teacher.
(3) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the Board of Reference shall not make an order under subsection (1)(c)(i) or (d) if the Board of Reference determines that
(a) the teacher should not be engaged in teaching for a board, or
(b) there is just cause for terminating the contract of employment or designation.
(4) Subsection (3) applies notwithstanding that any technical or procedural irregularity by any party to the appeal may have taken place in relation to the matter being appealed.
(5) The Board of Reference, unless the Minister directs or gives permission to the Board of Reference to do otherwise, must render its decision, including any reasons on which the decision is based, in respect of the matter being appealed within 45 days from the day that the Board of Reference concludes its hearing of the appeal.
(6) For the purpose of subsection (5), the direction or permission of the Minister may be given by the Minister before or after the end of the 45‑day period.
The Board of Reference is composed of one person assigned from a list of arbitrators as approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. All evidence placed before it is given under oath. The school board must first state its case and register the supporting evidence. The teacher then has the opportunity to rebut the case, usually by introducing witnesses to counter the testimony led by the board. Both parties are usually represented by legal counsel. The Board of Reference may make any order it deems appropriate to the case. Such orders could include support for the board’s termination, support for the teacher’s appeal, payment of salary or recovery of salary. The order is registered with the Court of Queen’s Bench and is appealable only to the Alberta Court of Appeal.
Teachers who have been suspended under section 105 of the School Act or holders of designated positions whose designations have been terminated pursuant to section 110 of the act may appeal to the Board of Reference in a similar manner to that described on page 13.
Other Contractual Matters
Section 104 of the School Act provides that a superintendent may transfer a teacher from one school to another at any time during the school year. In carrying out a transfer, the superintendent must give the teacher at least seven calendar days’ notice in writing. If the teacher wishes to contest the transfer, a written request for a hearing before the school board must be made within seven calendar days of receiving the transfer notice. If the teacher does request a hearing, the transfer may not take place until the hearing has been conducted by the board. The hearing must be scheduled not earlier than 14 days from the day the teacher received the transfer notice. If the teacher is unsuccessful in persuading the board to reverse the superintendent’s transfer decision, the teacher may decide to resign upon 30 days’ notice. If so, the transfer does not take effect; the board must pay salary to the termination date but may relieve the teacher of further duties forthwith (see flow chart).
Teachers wishing to appeal a transfer should obtain advice and assistance from an Association staff officer.
Provisions of collective agreements
If a disagreement arises between a school board and a teacher over the interpretation, application or violation of any provision of a collective agreement, the teacher may file a grievance as provided for in the collective agreement. Procedures for the settlement of grievances normally require that the grievance first be processed at the bargaining unit or local level. A teacher who has a grievance should consult the chair of the economic policy committee or the president of the local in the first instance. Advice may also be obtained from Teacher Welfare staff at Barnett House. If the grievance cannot be resolved, it may be submitted to the grievance or interpretations committee. If no decision is reached at this level, the grievance may later be submitted to arbitration, in which case the Association assumes the responsibility for the action.
A major source of grievances is a teacher’s long delay or failure to submit to the board a statement of teacher education for salary purposes. A teacher should take steps to secure an evaluation immediately after accepting employment with a board or on completing additional university work that will lead to an increased evaluation. The first step is to submit an application for an evaluation to the Teacher Qualifications Service of the Association, along with proper original transcripts and other documents. Most school boards, if asked, will extend the deadline for receipt of evaluations if the teacher has unusual difficulty in obtaining transcripts but the teacher has a responsibility to demonstrate that the application has been filed in good time and that the teacher has done everything possible to expedite the matter.
Another source of grievances lies in the application of the sick leave provisions of the School Act, which are included with other salary matters in section 111. If a teacher has been ill and is experiencing difficulty in collecting proper salary, advice should be sought from the Association.
Transfer of teacher
Some school districts or divisions provide teacherages for some of the teachers in their employ. Policy with respect to rental rates varies. In some areas, particularly the more isolated ones, rent is considerably less than the current rate in the area for similar, privately-owned accommodation. Other boards take the position that, while they are willing to provide teacher accommodation, they will not do so at subsidized rates.
Teacherage rental rates are rarely included in collective agreements, though some agreements do contain a provision requiring notice of increased rates to be given well before the end of a school year if they are to be effective in the next school year.
Some school boards enter into lease agreements with teachers while others simply operate on some type of understanding. Teachers would be well advised to have the terms and conditions of their rental agreement with a board clearly stated in writing. A properly executed lease with mutually agreed conditions is the best insurance against misunderstanding and trouble.
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