EDMONTON – After careful consideration, Greater St. Albert Catholic teachers have voted to accept the framework proposed to teachers and school boards by the province.
“Teachers had a very good discussion of the offer and considered it carefully,” says Greater St. Albert Catholic Teachers’ Local President Sean Brown. “We heard strong points made on both sides of the issue, but ultimately teachers decided to support the offer. We stand beside our other 30,000 plus teacher colleagues in accepting the Provincial Framework Agreement; but, we still need big improvements to classroom conditions and so we are going to continue advocating for the funding required to reduce class sizes and take our fight forward to improve teaching and learning conditions.”
The Teachers’ Local says the framework includes salary and other rates of pay, as well as provisions to enhance quality of education through improved conditions of practice and reduced teacher workload.
After more than two years of negotiations, the tentative deal was announced by the Alberta government and the Alberta Teachers Association (ATA) in March.
It includes a salary freeze for three years and a limit on teachers’ workloads.
If the framework is accepted, teacher salary rates will not increase until September 1, 2014.
Under the agreement, teachers’ salaries will be increased by two per cent in 2015.
Edmonton Public and Catholic teachers voted to the support the deal in April.
“We now have 48 bargaining units which have agreed to the offer,” says provincial ATA President Carol Henderson. “We felt that teachers would support this offer because of the improvements it offers to teachers’ conditions of practice, despite our concerns about the financial elements.”
The provincial framework must be ratified by all 62 Association bargaining units and school boards by May 13, 2013. Ratification of the agreement would mean labour peace through to the 2015-2016 year.
Local collective agreement provisions not covered in the framework will need to be negotiated between local ATA bargaining units and local school boards by December 31, 2013. If any issues are still being disputed at that time, they would referred to arbitration.
The Greater St. Albert Catholic Teachers’ Local #23 bargaining unit includes 400 teachers, and serves 6,200 students in the communities of St. Albert, Morinville and Legal.