Representatives from the Alberta Teachers’ Association are continuing to discuss central and local bargaining matters with the Teachers’ Employer Bargaining Association (TEBA). The parties held two full-day meetings during the last week of April, meetings classified as productive by Greg Jeffery, ATA vice-president and chair of its Central Table Bargaining Committee.
Besides Jeffery, the committee is comprised of district representatives Darrin Bauer (Edmonton McMurray), Jenny Regal (Calgary City), Jason Schilling (South West) and Lori Szmul (North West), as well as president Mark Ramsankar. Among the nonvoting members are executive secretary Gordon Thomas and Teacher Welfare co-ordinator Sandra Johnston.
Under a new bi-level bargaining model introduced by the NDP government, the two sides are negotiating which matters may be bargained at the central table and which matters may be bargained with individual school boards at local tables. Jeffery is providing regular updates on his blog, entitled Bargainer’s Blog, which recently reported that the parties have agreed to identify a number of matters as either central or local, while other matters remain the subjects of differing positions.
“We will continue to talk about these matters,” Jeffery wrote. “We are optimistic that we will reach agreement.”
So far, two more meeting dates are scheduled prior to the end of May. As per the Public Education Collective Bargaining Act, if there is no agreement on the central and local lists by the end of May, either party can request arbitration. ❚
Bargainer’s Blog, as well as all bargaining news and updates, can be accessed by logging on to the ATA home page at www.teachers.ab.ca. Under the Information On heading, click on Collective Bargaining 2016.