Annual fee will increase by $81 to $1,347
On Aug. 13 and 14, delegates of the 103nd Annual Representative Assembly (ARA) approved the budget for the 2020/21 fiscal year, resulting in a revised fee of $1,347 per year for a full-time teacher.
The primary driver of the fee increase is an anticipated loss of 1500 full-time teaching positions as a result of provincial funding cuts to school boards. The ATA budget includes approximately 120 changes or adjustments compared to the present year’s budget. Many of these changes are aimed at reducing spending or minimizing spending increases in order to offset the reduced revenue from a lower teacher count. For example, the budget includes no allowances for new staff positions or negotiated salary increases.
As priorities, the Alberta Teachers’ Association aims to enhance capacity in targeted areas, respond to an expected increase in demand for services and support from members, meet legislated professional responsibilities, and provide high quality service and programs, while maintaining overall expenditures that are largely consistent with the present year’s budget.
ARA delegates approved funds to support a small number of new initiatives. While some programs have been discontinued, compared to the 2019/20 budget, overall expenditures are expected to increase by 1.03 per cent. The fee increase and increased revenue from advertising will help fund the targeted increase in spending.
In looking to deliver better service to members and increase support for central table bargaining, a new Bargaining Advisory Committee was approved, taking over the duties of the Teacher Welfare Liaisons. The planned changes in teacher welfare have a net cost savings.
There is a general consensus that demands on Member Services will continue to grow in 2020/21. To better respond to this demand and enhance the Association’s ability to conduct discipline investigations, investigation training/certification will be made available to staff. Furthermore, funds were allocated for work to begin on developing a program of awareness about the Association’s discipline and mediation services.
In addition, funding was approved to support the continuance of the Indigenous Advisory Circle, which aligns with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
With 2019 ARA having approved a budget review, funds were designated for this work to continue in 2020/21 and will be overseen by the Finance Committee. Increased funding has also been budgeted for the Women’s Leadership Conference, and with an emphasis on facilitating member attendance at Association events, approval was provided for child/elder care subsidies for all Association activities.
Finally, with a focus on the Association’s long-term fiscal resiliency, delegates approved repayment into the Special Emergency Fund, as planned for the 2020/21 fiscal year.
At the conclusion of two productive days of debate, delegates approved an overall budget with a net surplus of $69,400. The annual fee for associate members will increase to $202.05. ❚