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Government ensures stability for Alberta students

May 14, 2013   (0 Comments)
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Government ensures stability for Alberta students

Alberta is ensuring that families will continue to enjoy stability in the province's classrooms by introducing legislation that will extend the four-year deal negotiated with the Alberta Teachers' Association (ATA) to all the province's teachers and school boards.

To date, the majority of boards and ATA locals - representing almost half a million Alberta students - have agreed to adopt the deal, which freezes teacher salaries for three years and ensures boards can devote as much funding as possible to Alberta's classrooms.

Today, Education Minister Jeff Johnson signaled his intent to introduce Bill 26, the Assurance for Students Act. If passed, the bill will ensure that the remaining boards and two ATA locals benefit from the negotiated agreement their colleagues from across the province already adopted. After over two and a half years of negotiation, an agreement between the government and the ATA was reached on March 15, 2013. Boards and ATA locals have spent the last two months ratifying this agreement at the local level.

"Albertans want us to continue to transform the education system to meet Inspiring Education's vision for a new generation of learners,” said Johnson. "That can only happen in a stable labour environment. For this reason, we have drafted legislation that will implement the ATA deal in every school jurisdiction and for every ATA local.”

The four-year deal reached by government and the ATA would see compensation for 40,000 Alberta teachers frozen for three years - one of which has already passed since the end of the previous agreement. That will be followed by an increase of two per cent in 2015-16 and a one-time lump sum payment - to be funded by government - in that same year.

A commitment to review teachers' workload is another central element of the agreement. The Framework Agreement requires any school board without an "hours of instruction” restriction in its collective agreement to take steps to bring the number of hours the board requires a teacher to instruct students closer to a provincially mandated number of 907 hours per school year.

"We made every effort to ensure all boards had the ability to reach a negotiated agreement. But after more than two and a half years at the bargaining table, we need to move forward with a deal that the majority of boards and teachers considered fair enough to adopt,” Johnson said.

"Legislating the Framework Agreement safeguards the education of Alberta kids in a stable and supportive learning environment and helps ensure we live within our means in these difficult fiscal times,” he said. "At this point, legislation is the only way to achieve these important goals.”

link to government News Release


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