Both the 2018 and 2020 bargaining processes have felt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Local bargaining that remains unsettled for 2018-20 has slowed to a halt. Currently, 35 locals have agreements, leaving 26 in limbo until both parties can get back to the table.
The Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) issued notice to the Teacher Employer Bargaining Agent (TEBA) to commence list bargaining for collective agreements beyond 2020. According to the Public Education Collective Bargaining Act (PECBA), this first phase of the bargaining process must be completed within 60 days of giving notice.
On March 19, TEBA proposed an extension of list bargaining from the end of April to June 30.
The Association agreed to the extension and, as a result, members were given an additional week to complete the online bargaining needs survey (this survey has since concluded).
The extension also pushes back central table bargaining, giving the Central Table Bargaining Committee (CTBC) more time to collect data and prepare its initial proposal.
A second survey, directed specifically at distributed education teachers, concluded on March 31. It provided input to the CTBC on issues distinctive to members who deliver distance learning services such as online, blended learning and alternative delivery.
The CTBC is currently developing other suitable methods of gathering bargaining input during these times of social distancing.
While the Alberta Teachers’ Association offices are closed to the public, Teacher Welfare Staff continue to work from home and advice and representation functions continue. All calls and emails are being answered. ❚