Red Deer Public rejects provincial deal with teachers

Red Deer Public Schools does not support a provincial deal with teachers, as it stands now.

Red Deer Public Schools does not support a provincial deal with teachers, as it stands now.

Board chairman Lawrence Lee said they cannot support the recent deal crafted between the provincial government and the Alberta Teachers’ Association. Edmonton Public Schools has publicly announced it won’t support the tentative four-year deal either.

Lee was responding to news on Thursday that the Alberta School Boards Association has a house divided over the deal. There are 62 boards across the province.

Lee said they would support the deal, but there were two changes that had to be made. One was made and it involved clear instructional time.

The other has to do with compensation.

“We thought they should just leave (compensation) right out of it and not address it in terms of the framework,” said Lee. “They’ve used the provincial average for the salary and only one component of that salary, without total compensation being taken into consideration.”

Doing this makes it inequitable, he said.

There are 29 boards that are below this provincial average and would receive a top-up to get to that provincial average. There was a study done by the ASBA two years ago which reviewed total compensation and some of those boards are ranked in the top five of total compensation, said Lee.

Everyone addresses compensation differently, he said.

“If they would not have even addressed compensation, we would have supported this agreement,” said Lee. “We feel there are boards that would receive a bursary on top of other boards, simply because they are below a provincial average.”

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