2015/16 Proposed Budget

April 21, 2015

The budget proposed by Provincial Executive Council (PEC) is just a step away from becoming the approved budget for the 2015/16 fiscal year. Developing a budget is a lengthy process that involves a great deal of consideration and deliberation. The last — and most important — step in this process is membership approval. On the Victoria Day long weekend, local delegates to the 98th Annual Representative Assembly (ARA) will gather in Edmonton to consider, among other matters, the approval of the 2015/16 budget and membership fee.

The budget is not just a financial document. It also sets the strategic direction for Association activities and programs for the upcoming year. When considering the budget, ARA delegates will focus on much more than dollars and cents. They will also examine the merit of the proposed programs and consider their value to members, to education and to the Association.

Proposed new initiatives for 2015/16

Committee on the Role of the Superintendent in the Teaching Profession: Provincial Executive Council established this committee in the fall of 2014 which requires more time and resources to consult with the members to conclude findings and review the Association’s policy on school system leadership.

Cross-professional study of scope of practice: The Association aims to conduct a study that would examine common trends and patterns that are redefining the professions in policing, medicine, health care and education. This study would bring together leading international researchers in the evolving nature of the work of professionals and would contribute to the Association’s efforts to advocate for clearer parameters that define the role of teachers and support calls for optimal conditions of practice.

Online growth planning: These funds would support a scaled implementation of the online growth planning service beyond the two-year government-funded pilot, which will be concluding in June 2015.

Online PD delivery: The budget provides funds to develop PD resources using online and blended formats — such as streaming video and webinars — and expand the reach of professional development resources through the use of technology.

Pension plan education: The Association has earmarked funds to evaluate and revise the existing pension education program, which is aimed at teachers, in order to expand the program to include a public audience with the aim of educating and informing the general public of the value of defined benefit pension plans.

Role of the superintendent research: These funds would be directed to support independent research that would draw together and facilitate focus groups of school leaders in order to identify the key characteristics of a supportive superintendency. Funding would support the work of the external researcher(s) focused on developing a better understanding of optimal district leadership strategies that support the work of teachers.

School leadership support: The budget has set aside funds to develop a program of support for school leaders to establish a leadership mentorship network. This would be tied to similar efforts nationally by the Canadian Association of Principals and would be initiated and sustained in collaboration with the Council for School Leadership.

Web-based communication: Funds have been set aside for the development of web-based communication that would assist the work of the Member Services program area and address issues of a general nature. This online tool would provide further information outside of regular field service work and could be accessed by members at any time. 

Women in leadership: The Association has earmarked funds to explore specific issues and challenges that women face in taking up leadership positions in the profession, including participation in the Association, with the goal of developing programs and supports for women in the teaching profession.

The expected total cost of these new programs is $158,000.

Completed or discontinued initiatives

Completed

Inclusive education: The Blue Ribbon Panel on Inclusive Education in Alberta Schools reported to council in June 2014, released its full report in the early fall and will be holding a curriculum symposium entitled Reaching the Vision: Building Inclusive Education Together in April 2015.

Web-based communication: The Teacher Welfare program area has completed the development of a series of short animated videos that will be available through the Association’s website in the spring of 2015 and will allow members to access basic information on maternity and parental leave and have common questions answered. An evaluation of the videos will be conducted over the 2015/16 year but will require no additional funding.

Discontinued

School representative program: In 2014/15 this program was suspended for evaluation for a one-year period and it has been found that these inservices were being provided throughout various other areas of the program and field service work. As a result, the program has been discontinued.

Proposed annual fee for 2015/16

Provincial Executive Council is proposing a full-time member fee of $1,245 for 2015/16, an increase of $21 per annum from the current member fee.

 

2014/15 Approved fee

2015/16 Proposed fee

Funding for programs for which the local rebate does not apply

$159.00

$174.00

Funding for programs for which the local rebate applies

$852.00

$856.80

Local rebate

$213.00

$214.20

Total Fee

$1,224.00

$1,245.00


Two-part budget

There are two parts to the Association’s budget. The first part ­includes programs that are funded by a fee that is subject to a ­local rebate. In other words, for each dollar of the membership fee that is applied to this part of the budget, 20 per cent is rebated to local associations to fund their operations. The second part includes programs that are funded by a fee that is not subject to the local rebate.

Part 1: Budget subject to local rebate, by program area

The table below compares program area expenditures for the 2014/15 approved budget and the 2015/16 proposed budget. It also provides a general description of the mandate of each program area.

Program area

Mandate

2014/15 Approved budget

2015/16 Proposed budget

Teacher Welfare

To improve the economic well-being of teachers through work in collective bargaining, pension and insurance; to effect increases in the funding for education.

$3,208,900

$3,420,500

Member Services

To provide services to individual members on matters requiring discipline, legal assistance and professional relations; to provide general service to and consultation with locals, sublocals and staff as requested; to enhance awareness of the Association’s services.

$4,958,800

$5,132,600

Professional
Development

To provide for the improvement of teaching practice through specialist councils, conventions, curriculum work, current issues, local leadership development, assistance to local PD committees, field service and representation to other subgroups; to prepare a corps of instructors and facilitators; to improve the preservice education of teachers and liaison with other agencies in these fields and extended field experiences.

$5,066,700

$5,211,400

Government

To govern the Association and provide for its obligations beyond Alberta’s borders; to liaise with other organizations within Alberta; to maintain communications internally with the membership and externally with the public; to improve conditions for education through political involvement of members.

$7,973,400

$8,460,000

Building

To provide and maintain physical facilities for Association offices in Edmonton and Calgary.

$2,126,200

$2,395,200

Operations

To provide for the financial and business operation of the Association, including business management, finance, general office work, human resources and document production; to provide services to other program areas and subgroups.

$4,393,300

$4,556,600

Nondepartmental Commitments

To provide for items which are not directly a part of any other department and for items affecting all or most other departments but which cannot be reasonably provided for within the department.

$1,471,000

$1,669,200

Food Services

To provide a catering service for participants at various meetings and other functions held in Barnett House; to operate a cafeteria service for staff, tenants and the public.

$809,800

$810,300

Information and Technology
Services

To maintain and safeguard the Association’s information technology systems and equipment and to develop and maintain electronic capabilities and processes required by other program areas.

$2,009,300

$2,150,200


Part 2: Budget not subject to local rebate

Member fees required to fund part two are not subject to the local rebate. The table below compares expenditures and allocations for the 2014/15 approved budget and the 2015/16 proposed budget and provides a brief description of the nature of the expenditures. 

Expenditure and allocation

Description

2014/15
Approved
budget

2015/16

Proposed
budget

Canadian Teachers’ Federation

Provides support for the Federation based on a per capita fee.

$895,400

$993,600

Capital fund

Provides an annual allocation to the fund, which is used to purchase any capital assets.

$1,261,000

$1,303,000

Special emergency fund

Provides an annual allocation to the fund, which is used to fund emergent actions as approved by Provincial Executive Council.

$300,000

$1,036,000

Technology services project development

Provides annual funding for projects related to membership application services, online services, unified communications, strategic technology management and reporting, workflow and form services.

$700,000

$700,000

Specialist council membership grants

Provides the annual operating grants to the Association’s 22 specialist councils.

$658,700

$774,500

Accountability
action plan

Provides funding for the Real Learning First program, a multifaceted plan that focuses on accountability in education as it relates to the teacher’s role in student assessment, evaluation and reporting.

$100,000

$115,000

Mortgage

Provides principal and interest payments on the loan obtained for the Seymour Tower renovations.

$915,800

$1,015,000

Media campaign

Provides funding for a media campaign to address teacher concerns and to raise the status of the teaching profession.

$1,000,000

$1,000,000