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Teachers reject contract offer

EDMONTON — The Alberta Teachers’ Association rejected an offer Tuesday from the province for a four-year labour agreement.

President Carol Henderson said the government’s offer would have paid teachers less than an offer the union rejected in December.

She said it also failed to include limits on how much time teachers have to work.

Education Minister Jeff Johnson said he was disappointed.

“Our proposal would have meant labour stability and cost certainty during these tough economic times,” he said in a release.

Henderson said a letter from Johnson also contained what she called a threat to cut salaries and teaching jobs if teachers reject his offer.

“Teachers do not respond well to ultimatums,” she said.

Liberal education critic Kent Hehr called the letter counterproductive.

“I’m not surprised teachers have lost all confidence in this minister and the government,” he said. “The PCs don’t see teachers as partners in education, but as widgets in the machine.”

The government said the offer would have seen salaries for nearly 35,000 Alberta teachers frozen for three years, followed by an increase of two per cent in 2015-16.

 
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