As teachers prepare for a well-earned summer break, a number of issues remain on the ATA’s radar. Here is a quick status update on the issues that the ATA will be working on in the coming weeks and months.
- The TES program area just completed a series of focus group–style sessions with sample groups of teachers to discuss bargaining issues in detail.
- List bargaining has gone to arbitration, which began on June 10. The Association hopes to receive the decision of the arbitrator sometime over the summer.
- Work continues on developing the ATA’s opening proposal for central table bargaining. Final feedback will be gathered from teachers in the fall before it is ratified by PEC.
- The ATA has filed a lawsuit over the government’s ministerial order that imposed an investment management agreement on the Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund (ATRF) and the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo).
- In late June the government and other respondents (AIMCo and ATRF) will submit written responses to the ATA’s written briefs.
- Hearings will be held in late July.
- Fifty-six school boards have stated that they won’t pilot the new draft curriculum and no school board seems willing to pilot the social studies curriculum, in particular.
- The ATA expects to hear more on this front as the minister will likely be forced to come up with a revised strategy to get the drafts piloted.
- The Association held curriculum circles on May 31 and will use the feedback of teachers to compile a more thorough and detailed response to the draft curriculum.
COVID and schools
- When the new school year starts, Alberta is likely to be in phase three of its reopening plan, which effectively removes nearly all COVID-related restrictions.
- This means that schools will reopen in the fall with no students under 12 having been vaccinated. The government has not yet released guidelines as to what COVID measures will continue in the fall.
- The Association is working on a document outlining recommendations on how best to support safe schools in the fall.
- Like last year, school boards will start the new year again with constrained funding amid enrolment growth.
- Federal funding related to learning during a pandemic is gone, and that has resulted in the loss of some teaching positions.
- TES staff are providing advice and assistance to teachers impacted.
Public relations campaign
- The Association is working on a new media campaign that is expected to launch in the fall. ❚