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Education minister overrules teachers’ union on disciplinary matters

EDMONTON — Alberta’s education minister has fired three teachers for unprofessional conduct instead of suspending their licences as recommended by their union.

Jeff Johnson says he felt in all three cases, the penalty imposed by the Alberta Teachers’ Association didn’t go far enough.

In one case, Johnson overturned a recommendation to suspend a Wainwright teacher for six years after she was found guilty of having sex numerous times with a student.

Gordon Thomas, the ATA’s executive secretary, says the firings mark the first time in Alberta that an education minister has overruled a committee decision.

A task force recommended earlier this month that the association should no longer review the conduct of teachers when complaints surface and they should be handled by the Education ministry.

Johnson says he’s confident he can use the task force information to work with the ATA to improve the disciplinary process. (Global Edmonton)

 
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