The budget proposed by Provincial Executive Council (PEC) is just a step away from becoming the approved budget for the 2022/23 fiscal year. The final (and very important) step in this process is membership approval. On the Victoria Day long weekend, local delegates to the 105th Annual Representative Assembly (ARA) will convene to consider, among other matters, the approval of the proposed budget.
While a budget is often viewed primarily as a financial document, the budget of the Alberta Teachers’ Association is also a reflection of the Association’s activities, programs and priorities for the upcoming year. As such, the Association will continue to provide the programs and services most critical to members. Furthermore, in seeking to strengthen internal operational efficiency and provide enhanced service to members, work will continue in 2022/23 to modernize internal systems, including the implementation of a human resources information system and also initial work will be done to explore more effective document management tools. During budget deliberations, PEC makes critical choices, balancing financial considerations and member feedback, before then presenting the proposed budget at ARA to delegates. At ARA, delegates, in addition to assessing the financial implications, will also examine the merit of the proposed programs and consider their value to members, to education and to the Association.
Within fiscal year 2022/2023, the Association will also need to align to the regulations stipulated in Bill 32 (Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act). Bill 32 requires the Association to categorize expenses into three categories and to report to members on that categorization. Members can view this information and more on Bill 32’s impacts by visiting www.teachers.ab.ca and clicking My ATA > Members Only.
Based on feedback from locals demonstrating broad support for the programs and services included in the draft budget circulated, Council is recommending no change to the current annual fee of $1,347 for the 2022/2023 fiscal year. On a year-over-year basis, budgeted total expenditures and allocations for 2022/23 have remained essentially flat, increasing by less than one per cent compared to the current 2021/2022 budget. The following pages provide highlights of new programs and completed or discontinued programs within the proposed 2022/23 budget.
Sample of proposed 2022/23 new initiatives
Truth and Reconciliation Committee learning initiatives — Professional Development
In 2016, the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) along with representatives across a range of educational stakeholder signed the Joint Commitment to Action (JCTA) to ensure that all K–12 teachers receive additional training related to First Nations, Métis, Inuit histories and cultures. Moreover, Association members continue to require support for the development and application of the Indigenous focused competency and indicators within the TQS and LQS. As such, through these planned initiatives, the Association will, among other activities, implement an Indigenous land-based learning series for members to support the development and application of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit foundational knowledge and host annual event(s) to reaffirm the Association’s commitment to reconciliation as part of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation/National Indigenous History Month.
French translation and development — Professional Development
The proposed budget includes a proposal to fund a cross-program initiative to increase the Association’s ability to develop programs and services in French, equal to the high standards of those developed in English. Association staff have identified a growing need to develop and procure resources in French that not only support translated material but also are equivalent in quality to materials provided to support the English versions. These funds will help ensure that such resources meet the current ATA quality standards, while reflecting an Alberta context.
Nature of learning — Professional Development
This planned expenditure will allow for the creation of resources and a communication plan to provide information about the nature of learning. Examples of the deliverables for this initiative are a web page for members and subgroups with digital information, professional development videos, downloadable posters and articles updated annually; an ATA library collection of resources available to members; a minimum of three professional development presentations for members to support classroom practice; and a minimum of two professional development presentations for ATA professional development subgroups to support adult learning practices.
TQS/LQS credentialing — Professional Development
In September 2019, a revised Teaching Quality Standard (TQS) and a new Leadership Quality Standard (LQS) were implemented by the government. It is important that the Association provide existing and new learning opportunities for these distinct groups of members to ensure they are current in their practice. Through this planned expenditure, opportunities will be identified for providing support to members (including members who work in central office and have a leadership certificate) in maintaining the currency of their teaching and leadership credentials.
Addition of one professional staff position (graphic designer) — Operations
The creative work of the Association’s design team is vital to the success of the organization. Communication is enhanced by effective graphic design and helps to strengthen the brand/visual identity of the Association, but it also inspires, informs and increases engagement with its members and the public. Presently, the Association has three full-time graphic designers. This proposed expenditure would allow for an additional FTE, bringing the staffing complement to four full-time FTEs to primarily deal with increased work volume and decrease the need for external contracting.
The proposed budget for these new activities described above is $188,500.
During the current fiscal year, within the Professional Development program area, work will be completed on a publication to broaden the understanding of residential schools in Alberta. As such, this budget line will not be funded in the proposed 2022/23 budget.
The budget allocated for this activity in 2021/22 was $17,000.
Proposed annual fee for 2022/23
Provincial Executive Council is proposing no increase to the Association member fee, maintaining it at $1,347.
Funding for programs for which
the local rebate does not apply
Net fee to distribute
Local rebate at 20%
Balance of net fee (80%)