Five locals of the Alberta Teachers’ Association have been recognized for their outstanding work during the 2014/15 school year. Split into three categories, the awards were presented to local representatives at the Association’s 67th annual Summer Conference in Banff in mid-August.
“Our ATA locals are run by dedicated teachers who do outstanding work for their profession — in their very limited spare time. I am incredibly proud of what they have accomplished,” said President Mark Ramsankar.
Local DEHR Award
This award went to the Peace Country’s Tri-Local DEHR Committee for multiple initiatives that support and promote diversity.
Since 2013, the committee has engaged students, school staff and the community through education and communication efforts. In 2015 the committee provided support to local gay-straight student alliances and teachers, offering safe spaces for all students to feel welcome. The committee also hosted a display table and a guest speaker at Teachers’ Convention, built a professional library for teachers and organized their third annual cultural night.
The committee represents three locals: Grande Prairie and District Catholic Teachers No. 42, Northern Spirit Local No. 6 and Trumpeter Local No. 26.
Local Public Relations Award of Excellence
Edmonton Catholic Teachers Local No. 54 received the Local Public Relations Award of Excellence for its program, Growing What We Started, a multifaceted initiative aimed at engaging the membership and highlighting the teaching profession. Also contributing to the award win were the local’s efforts to build relationships with the Edmonton Catholic School District and its board. Several successful events and special projects received accolades from the judges, including a ball tournament entitled Going Batty for Mental Health, a teacher retirement, a school opening mass and a new teacher induction ceremony. Judges praised the number of unique events and commended the local for its comprehensive and well-documented program.
Local Political Engagement Awards
Three locals won Local Political Engagement Awards.
These included Fort McMurray Local No. 48 for its program to foster relationships with the Association and provincial politicians. The local briefed area MLAs on education issues, organized a forum for ATA general election candidates, hosted a free public lecture in partnership with the Fort McMurray Labour Council and sponsored a meet-and-greet for candidates in the provincial general election.
One judge described the public lecture as “a very innovative approach to involving other labour and community groups in pressing for societal issues that impact everyone in the community.”
Northern Spirit Local No. 6 won a Local Political Engagement Award for its program to advocate to MLAs and communicate with members about educational issues. The local hosted a meet-and-greet with provincial education critics, communicated with members via social media, met with MLAs from constituencies in the area, hosted a forum for the ATA general election and informed members about the provincial general election via a live Q&A on Twitter with the hashtag #engagedinthepeace. “Increasing communication with your membership was a great idea that will strengthen your organization,” commented one judge.
Edmonton Catholic Teachers Local No. 54 won a Local Political Engagement Award for its program to engage members in local and provincial Association initiatives, publicly highlight the teaching profession and the local and build relationships with Edmonton Catholic Schools.
The local educated members about the ATA general election, created a series of videos to help members understand their collective agreement and distributed the ATA’s Perception vs Reality tear-away card to 7,000 Edmontonians.
“A very well-thought-out and comprehensive approach dealing with all facets of political engagement,” commented one judge. ❚