Alberta’s teachers have voted to ratify a two-year agreement with the province that sees instructional and assignable time be capped and more “teacher autonomy over professional growth plans.” However, the contract has more hurdles to clear before it is a done deal.
According to the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA), 78 per cent of teachers – who voted online between Thursday and Sunday – voted to accept the deal, which includes a conditional wage freeze and a new $75-million classroom improvement fund.
“I’m pleased that teachers see the benefits of this agreement and have voted to accept it,” Greg Jeffery, chair of the ATA’s Central Table Bargaining Committee, said in a news release.
“A lot of hard work has gone into these negotiations and we have achieved some historic improvements for teacher collective agreements.”
Watch below: In April 2017, Tom Vernon filed this report as Alberta’s 46,000 teachers were set to vote on a new contract with no increase in pay and one that sets the stage for many more contracts to come.
While the deal does not include any salary increases, it does have provisions which allow for teachers to receive pay increases if other large public sector unions secure pay increases in their upcoming negotiations.
According to the ATA, the agreement its members ratified will be “incorporated into the 61 collective agreements between the association and individual school boards,” but only after it is also ratified by the Teachers’ Employer Bargaining Association (TEBA). That vote is expected to take place later this month.
If TEBA does not ratify the accord, it will go ahead to mediation with the ATA.
“In a time when there is absolutely no money available for salary increases, we were able to make gains that will cost the school boards very little yet improve the working lives of teachers,” Central Table Bargaining Committee member Sandra Johnston, who is the coordinator of the ATA’s Teacher Welfare program area, said Monday.
“Teachers have had their say and now we have an agreement that is acceptable to teachers,” ATA President Mark Ramsankar said on Monday.