Alberta Teachers’ Association vice-president Jason Schilling expects to run four long-distance races this year — three on the road and one at the bargaining table.
Jason Schilling, chair, Central Table Bargaining Committee
Schilling was appointed by the Association’s Provincial Executive Council to chair the Central Table Bargaining Committee (CTBC) as central bargaining commences again this spring. The high school English teacher and avid runner from Lethbridge recently posted the first Bargainers’ Blog post to the Association’s Members’ Only website.
“It seems like we just crossed the finish line for the last round of central table bargaining,” Schilling wrote, drawing on a running metaphor, “but your negotiations team is already lacing up the runners for the next run around the track.”
The first edition of the blog for this bargaining round describes some work that has already been done in order to prepare for opening, describes the role of CTBC in acting as an agent on behalf of teachers and introduces readers to the other members of the bargaining team.
Schilling says he doesn’t intend to author all of the posts for this round’s blog. He would like to see other members of the committee highlighted through blog posts and is open to having guest writers from time to time, as the situation warrants.
Information contained in the blog is privileged information for the benefit of ATA active members, so an online ATA account is required to read the post. Accounts can be obtained and the blog post can be accessed by clicking on My ATA > Members Only at www.teachers.ab.ca.
Schilling says it is important to ensure that members are engaged in the process.
“This is your collective agreement, and we need your active participation to help direct our work,” he says. “Our ability to successfully advocate for you depends on the other side seeing and hearing you behind us.”
The next couple of blog posts will provide an overview of the bargaining process and will outline some of the results obtained from the bargaining needs survey conducted with members earlier this year. Schilling says the blog will continue to keep members informed of the progress.
“Stay tuned here to find out more,” he writes. “Bargaining is more of a marathon than a sprint; we will keep you informed every step along the way.” ❚