With voting for the 2015 Provincial Executive Council election set to open at the end of the month, one ATA local is doing all it can to get the election on its members’ radar.
“We want our teachers to vote,” said Kathy MacIsaac, executive director of Edmonton Catholic Teachers ATA Local 54. “So we’re going to do everything we can to help them do just that when voting opens February 27.”
Like teachers across the province, members of ATA Local 54 will have the opportunity to vote in the provincewide race for ATA vice-president. They also will have the opportunity to vote in the contest for their own geographic district of Edmonton-McMurray where four candidates are running for district representative.
Because their teachers will be voting for both provincial and local representation on PEC, the local will keep its teachers inform of all election activity. Because the 2015 PEC election is the first-ever online election in ATA history, the local will ensure their teachers are ready for the move away from conventional paper voting ballots.
“Teachers eligible to vote can’t vote unless they have an online ATA account,” MacIsaac pointed out. “Our primary goal is to make sure our teachers have an account. That is one step all teachers can take right now before voting opens.”
Even after that first step, the local will continue encouraging and supporting the participation of its teachers in the election process until the election results are announced on March 23.
Here are just two elements of the plan developed by Local 54:
Objective 1: Ensure as many teachers as possible have an online ATA account.
At its Feb. 17 Council of School Representatives meeting, members of the local executive will guide local ATA school representatives through the process of requesting an online ATA account.
The ATA school representatives then will conduct sessions for teachers at their respective schools on how to request an online ATA account.
At the Greater Edmonton Area Teachers’ Convention, local executive staff will be available at the convention booth to assist those teachers still needing to open an online ATA account.
The local will provide teaching certificate numbers (required to request an online ATA account) to teachers who don’t have theirs available and request it.
Objective 2: Ensure as many teachers as possible are aware of when they can register and vote.
Ensure ATA school representatives are knowledgeable about important 2015 PEC election dates and candidate information.
Ensure ATA school representatives share election information with teachers in their schools.
Direct teachers to visit the “Information On” section of the ATA website at www.teachers.ab.ca and click on “2015 PEC Election” for extensive voter information.
Publish election information on
www.ectlocal54.comm and promote it using @ECTlocal54 on Twitter and
Heading into a time when the four-year legislated settlement between the ATA and the provincial government (which faces a $7 billion deficit) is about to expire, MacIsaac believes the 2015 PEC election is an important event for teachers.
“PEC is the body that conducts the business of the ATA, and the ATA represents teachers when at the table with the provincial government,” explained MacIsaac. “The elected members of PEC represent the voice of teachers, so we are letting our teachers know this election is their chance to have a say in who does the talking. Get out and vote!” ❚
Where can I get my teaching certificate number?
For some of you, it probably seems a lifetime ago that you received your teaching certificate and the unique number assigned to it.
Now that you need your teaching certificate number to request the online ATA account required to vote in the 2015 PEC election, you might not be able to locate it.
Don’t worry! Here are a few organizations from which you can obtain your number:
Alberta Education is responsible for issuing teaching certificates in Alberta. Call 310-0000 toll free or 780-427-2045 in the Edmonton area and ask for Teaching and Leadership Excellence.
Your school district’s HR department
Your district should have requested your teaching certificate number and kept it on file when you were hired.
Alberta Teachers’ Association
Call 1-800-232-7208 toll free or 780-447-9400 (Edmonton area) and ask for Teacher Qualifications Services. Your number should be on file with us if you have applied for a statement of qualifications or had an evaluation of your teaching qualifications.