Your Views: Letter to the editor

Effective bargaining demands objectivity

October 16, 2018

Regarding the recent editorial, “School boards need to get serious about settlement,” published in the Sept. 25 edition of the ATA News.

It would be ideal for teachers to successfully bargain for improvements related to personal days, family medical days and administrator lieu days, but the reality is that Alberta has a seven per cent unemployment rate (October 2018) and there was a loss of 46,000 ­private sector jobs since 2014. The ­reality is we are in a recession and many Albertans have lost their jobs, homes and savings. The reality is that the province is broke.

It has been a very long time since the “S” word — strike — has been mentioned. This word was brought up and alluded to it several times in this article and this should concern our membership, but what is more concerning and deeply troubling is that the article suggests that teachers will take action based on feelings of respect and not on the issues on the table. 

Feelings are subjective. How do you define respect and a feeling of value among 40,000 members? It’s absurd to suggest that teachers will push to strike because we “feel” disrespected and, as a consequence of our “feelings,” the critical learning of more than 700,000 students will be interrupted and teachers will be forced to live on strike pay. 

I certainly hope the negotiating team will not walk out of talks and propose strike action because they are now bargaining on their interpretation of respect. Objectivity and attention to the issues should be the only things on the table.

- Janis Nett, Grade 5 teacher, Red Deer Catholic Local No. 80

On Twitter

ATA Local #80 @ATALocal80 
Happy #worldteachersday! We kept the #bestWTDever celebration going by handing out apples at the #reddeer market this morning! Plenty of support for too! Thanks to CentralAB @albertateachers colleagues for their support today!

Nicole Felicitas @Ilivelearnteach 
Birthday weekend adventures included a walk at the Alberta Legislature and enjoying the silence of having no one else there and freshly fallen snow. I was excited when I saw the sculpture commemorating 100 yrs of the Alberta Teachers’ Association!

Amanda Henry @amandocracy 
So... I think it’s pretty neat that there’s a sculpture at the legislature now covered in a poem by @cadenceweapon. And it’s a tribute to teachers and the students they educate.

Also In This Issue