Pupil–teacher ratios, professional time for administrators and occupational health and safety may be three of the new items up for discussion in central table bargaining, according to an agreement announced last week between the Alberta Teachers’ Association and the Teachers’ Employer Bargaining Association (TEBA).
The bargaining model prescribed by the Public Education Collective Bargaining Act is a three-phase model by which TEBA and the Association first negotiate which matters will be bargained centrally and locally.
The latest round of this “list bargaining” produced an agreement that was announced May 9 during a live webcast hosted by Central Table Bargaining Committee (CTBC) chair Jason Schilling. Schilling also wrote a Bargainers’ Blog post on the Association’s website with a link to the complete list of central and local matters.
In addition to the previously mentioned items, also moved to the list for central bargaining are high cost of living location allowances, part-time benefits and FTE calculation.
Items added to the local lists include new leaves of absence, wellness spending accounts and elements related to partial days and extended days for substitute teachers. Professional development funds were kept on the local list.
Schilling says he is satisfied with the agreed-to lists and is looking forward to the start of central bargaining. CTBC is in the process of holding discussion groups in order to gather further input from teachers to direct the bargaining committee.
“Our next steps are to build the opening proposal, and teachers continue to drive that process,” Schilling said. “We are collecting information, then we will release a draft proposal and teachers will have a chance to offer more feedback before PEC approves the final proposal in June.”
A recent Bargainers’ Blog post (available at www.teachers.ab.ca) from Teacher Welfare co-ordinator Sandra Johnston provides an overview of the process being used for collective bargaining and the processes being used by CTBC to develop the opening proposal with members’ feedback.
“No one knows with certainty how long negotiations will take or what possible paths it will travel down,” writes Johnston on the blog. “But we will be sure to talk to you, to help educate you about the process, and to gather further feedback as the situation warrants.”
Members are encouraged to continue to stay tuned to the Bargainers’ Blog for the most up-to-date news related to central table bargaining. ❚