Teachers in Alberta must decide on contract offer

In a report dated May 3, of which CBC/Radio-Canada has obtained a copy, broker Lyle Kanee recommends a salary increase in two tranches: a first 1.25% increase in September this year and another 2% in September. 2023.

This offer comes with a ratification bonus, namely that the teachers will also see their salary increase by 0.5% if they ratify the deal before September.

The 46,000 members of the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) will vote in a ratification vote from June 5-8.

In his report, the ombudsman also recommended increasing the daily wages of substitute teachers by 2% in lieu of holidays and paid leave.

Votes urge votes against the deal

The Alberta Teachers’ Association is asking its members to vote for the deal, but three of its former presidents advise against it.

In an open letter to teachers sent last week, Larry Booi, Frank Bruseker and Carol Henderson, successive presidents of theATA from 1999 to 2013 to reject the agreement, which they find disappointing and problematic.

I believe she is [l’entente] disappointing in every wayJudge Larry Booi, president of the union from 1999 to 2003 and led the teachers’ strike in 2002.

The three men explain that the new offer does not take into account the rise in the cost of living, while provincial finances are improving thanks to the rise in the prices of oil and gas products.

They also recalled the difficulties faced by educators who daily manage classes of more than 40 students and an increasing number of children with special needs, such as learning disabilities or mental health problems.

The mediator’s proposals also resemble agreements signed earlier this year by the United Nurses Union of Alberta and the more than 18,000 nurses, assistants and nursing assistants of the Alberta Public Service Employees Union.

Teachers would be in a weak position

Larry Booi also said that a refusal of the increase offer does not necessarily lead to a strike, but could allow teachers to give themselves a period of reflection before pushing for a better salary agreement.

For his part, Alberta Public Interest Commission Director General Brad Lafortune believes that the teachers are not in a good position to turn down the offer because despite their varying demands to change the roster that sets their wages at based on education level and seniority, which has remained unchanged for several years, he explains.

Jason Foster, professor of human resources and industrial relations at Athabasca University, agrees. According to him, there is a good chance that the education staff will sign the agreement, because there are already enough frustrated and exhausted

Sometimes the workers know it’s not much, but they understand that they can’t get anything better.

A quote from Jason Foster, Industrial Relations Expert

Teachers in Alberta are among the highest paid in Canada, but their salaries have been frozen since 2015.

Where are teachers in Alberta when it comes to salary treatment in Canada?

Fees for teachers vary by province. For example, Saskatchewan has a uniform pay scale across its territory, while in Alberta, the salary table for teaching staff takes into account education level and experience. In terms of education level, Ontario and Manitoba require five years of post-secondary education while Alberta requires four years. Manitoba’s most experienced teachers are among the highest paid in the country, but less than those in the three areas earning the highest salaries nationally.

In addition to the agreement, the teachers will also explore the offer following the Alberta government’s approval of Bill 15, which aims to strip the teachers’ union of its traditional prerogative of managing disciplinary processes involving its members.

With information from Janet French

Leave a Comment