Alberta’s teachers employed by public, separate and francophone school boards have voted to accept a mediator’s recommendation for a four-year central agreement.
The Alberta Teachers’ Association vote was a narrow one, with just 51 per cent in favour of accepting the terms of settlement proposed by the mediator in central table collective bargaining.
“While these results tell us that the mediator’s recommendations are something that teachers are willing to live with, teachers have also clearly told us they have run out of patience: future bargaining must address their priorities like class size and composition,” said Sean Brown, ATA lead bargainer.
The recommendations will be incorporated into the 61 collective agreements for teachers and school boards.
The Teachers’ Employer Bargaining Association also voted in favour of accepting the mediator’s recommendation, which was necessary for it to become an agreement.
Jason Nixon, acting treasury board president and minister of finance, said he is pleased to hear ATA members and TEBA accepted the mediator’s recommendation.
“Alberta’s teachers have always played an important role in our province, and in the lives of young Albertans. The hard work and dedication of teachers does not go unnoticed,” Nixon said in a statement Friday.
“I want to thank both TEBA and the ATA for their efforts over many months of negotiations. This agreement will set the stage for stability in Alberta’s education system.”
Jason Schilling, ATA president, said the result of the ATA vote shows the offer is “the absolute minimum” teachers were willing to accept.
“We spent the last four weeks travelling around the province, hosting online sessions and listening to teachers,” said Schilling.
“They told us, regardless of which way they were voting, that they have significant concerns about classroom conditions that simply must be addressed. They have concerns with the way teachers, the profession and our students have been treated by this government and previous governments.
“As the provincial election draws near, teachers will use public advocacy and political action to press for much-needed and long-overdue improvements.”