Q & A - Question from a first-year teacher

September 13, 2011
Gordon Thomas

Question: I’m a first-year teacher and I’ve just secured a teaching position. What do I need to do to ensure that I receive my salary and benefits in a timely fashion?

Answer: To ensure receipt of salary and benefits, you—and all first-year teachers or teachers who are new to Alberta—must do the following:

  • Apply to the Teacher Qualifications Service (TQS) if you do not have a current evaluation—do not wait until your teaching certificate is finalized. You can access TQS by visiting www.teachers.ab.ca and clicking on For Members and then on ­Salary, Benefits and Pension.
  • Provide your employer with proof of any previous ­teaching experience. When leaving a school district, ask for a ­record of employment (ROE). Depending on your collective agreement, your employer might not honour out-of-­country experience.
  • Complete health plan forms; you must list any dependents within 30 days of the start of your employment.
  • Identify a beneficiary for your Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund pension. (If you are married, the benefit automatically goes to your spouse.)

Remember to check your ­collective agreement about ­deadlines for providing the TQS statement and proof of experience if you have taught elsewhere. Be sure you understand what “proof of application” is if this applies to your collective agreement.

It is your responsibility to ­supply the above documentation to your employer.

First-year teachers or teachers new to Alberta can contact their local economic policy committee about a workshop entitled “How and What Do Teachers Get Paid.”

More information is available from ATA staff. In Edmonton and area, telephone 780-447-9400, or call toll-free at 1-800-232-7208.

Questions for consideration in this column are welcome. Please address them to Gordon Thomas at Barnett House (gordon.thomas@ata.ab.ca).