Highlights of the memorandum of agreement reached by the Alberta Teachers’ Association and Teachers Employer Bargaining Authority (TEBA)
Two-year term from Sept. 1, 2016 to Aug. 31, 2018.
Salaries and allowances
No increases to the salary grid, substitute teacher rates of pay or the general increases to allowances.
‘Me too’ salary protection clause
If a large public sector union (ie, Alberta Union of Provincial Employees or United Nurses of Alberta) negotiates an increase for its public service members that applies during the term of this agreement, teachers will receive the highest such increase.
Classroom Improvement Fund (CIF)
The government will establish a $75 million Classroom Improvement Fund (CIF) to provide school jurisdictions with per pupil funding for improvements such as hiring additional teachers, classroom assistants, student-specific professional development needs or classroom materials.
Each school jurisdiction will establish a joint committee to determine how to distribute the funds. Committees will be composed of an equal number of school jurisdiction representatives, appointed by the school board or designate, and teacher representatives, appointed by the ATA. The committee structure and mandate will be included in each collective agreement. The funds will be in place for the 2017/18 school year. TEBA and the Association will meet to evaluate the CIF project.
Caps on instructional and assignable time
In collective agreements where such provisions aren’t already in place, instructional time will be capped at 907 hours per school year, and assignable time will be capped at 1,200 hours per school year, to take effect in 2017/18. In collective agreements where such caps are already in place, these will remain in effect. In agreements where such provisions are subject to sunset clauses, these will be extended to Aug. 31, 2018.
Compressed school year
Jurisdictions operating with a compressed school year of less than 183 instructional days may be required to provide teachers with additional compensatory time off.
Professional growth plans
Teachers will have autonomy over their growth plans. These will consider,
but will not be required to include, school or jurisdictional goals.
Salary grid advancement
Experience increments on the salary grid will take into account all experience gained while holding a valid Alberta teaching certificate or equivalent when teaching in a position that requires a teaching certificate. Partial years of experience will carry over into the next year. This takes effect Sept. 1, 2017.
All substitute experience within the previous five years will count for experience on the salary grid, effective Sept. 1, 2017.
Part-time FTEs will be determined as a ratio of the teacher’s annual instructional time compared to the annual instructional time for a full-time teacher at the same school.
In agreements without reference to a continuous designation for principals, clauses will be added to collective agreements that enable continuous designations. Effective Sept. 1, 2017, a teacher appointed to a principal designation shall have a probationary designation of up to two years followed by a term designation of up to three years for a maximum of five years in total. If the designation continues past this term, it will be continuous.
For current principals with more than five years of term contracts as of Sept. 1, 2017, the employing board has until Dec. 31, 2017 to decide if the appointment will continue in 2018, at which point it becomes continuous.
In order to transition to the new clauses, current principals who have been on term contracts for less than five years as of Sept. 1, 2017 will continue on term contracts until a maximum of five years, at which point, if a contract is renewed, it becomes continuous.
Maternity/parental and adoption leave
Teachers on unpaid maternity, adoption and parental leave may continue to participate in the benefit plan at their own cost after the board’s payment has ceased, as defined by the collective agreement. Teachers now have three options:
1. prepay the premiums prior to starting an unpaid leave of up to one year’s duration;
2. pay through direct debit during the unpaid leave;
3. the school jurisdiction will continue to pay the employer share of the premiums during a period of up to 12 months, and the teacher will repay them within one year of returning to work.
Association leave and secondment
Leaves shall be granted to Provincial Executive Council, Professional Conduct and Practice Review committees and for central and local bargaining committees.
Other leaves may be granted upon written request and will not be unreasonably denied.
The Association will reimburse the board for actual substitute teacher cost plus statutory benefit premiums (employment insurance and Canada Pension Plan).
If required, secondments shall be granted to members of Provincial Executive Council, local presidents, or any other local official already named in the agreement, with mutual agreement as to the FTE. The Association pays all associated costs.
The Teachers Employer Bargaining Authority (TEBA) and the Alberta Teachers’ Association (Association) will meet to review benefits and leaves, including the benefit carrier for group benefits and HSA/WSA and prorating sick leave during return-to-work accommodations. The review will be completed prior to Feb. 28, 2018 and is meant to inform future bargaining. ❚