Negotiators working on behalf of Alberta’s teachers are not changing their approach to arbitration, as outlined in recently concluded collective agreements, despite government efforts to delay.
That’s the message contained in a new Bargainers’ Blog post by Sandra Johnston, co-ordinator of the Teacher Welfare program area of the Alberta Teachers’ Association.
In the post, dated May 30, Johnston explains that the central table agreement teachers ratified in April includes an arbitration process to determine whether teachers will receive a salary increase.
The agreement clearly outlines an interest arbitration process with Sept. 30 as the deadline for completion, Johnston writes. The Association served notice on May 2 to initiate the process, and three days of hearings are scheduled for mid-September to meet the Sept. 30 deadline.
Since the United Conservative Party formed government following this spring’s general election, the United Nurses of Alberta and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees have been asked to delay arbitration proceedings that are allowed for in collective agreements, Johnston writes. The Association received an invitation to a consultation meeting with the government on the subject of delaying arbitrations but did not attend.
Johnston’s message to teachers: the ATA will stay the course.
“While we prepare for interest arbitration, we are also watching these developments carefully and will respond as the need arises,” she writes. ❚
To read Johnston’s more detailed explanation of the situation, and stay abreast of further developments, active ATA members can access the Bargainer’s Blog by visiting www.teachers.ab.ca and clicking on My ATA > Members Only.