Calgary Public School Board rejects teacher contract
Board says offer gives too much decision making of student learning to the teachers' union
The Calgary Public School Board has rejected the proposed provincewide agreement for teachers.
Members of the Alberta Teachers' Association have been considering the latest contract offer from the provincial government and has endorsed the offer, which teachers still have to vote on.
On Wednesday, Calgary Public School Board chair Pat Cochrane says the agreement is not a good deal for students.
She says the agreement gives too much decision making of student learning to the teachers' union.
"It reduces the flexibility of us as school boards, of our principals and administrators to be flexible in learning and we need to be flexible in this century for the way kids need to learn," Cochrane said.
"We don't actually believe that this is best for students. We look at this agreement and we see the creation of layers of bureaucracy. There is always a cost to bureaucracy and that money will come out of the classroom."
The board says the agreement allows teachers to have control over their professional learning.
Education critic 'not surprised'
The board believes it will be able to work out an agreement with its own teachers.
"I'm not surprised given the way boards reacted at the initial news of the deal," said Wildrose education critic Bruce McAllister.
"Boards were left out of the process and they're not happy about it, and what they're saying is that they are being told to do much more with much less and their concerns are it's going to end up affecting the kids in the classroom and I think that's why you're seeing some push back."
But Frank Bruseker, with the Calgary Public Teachers association, says a four-year deal would provide some continuity for students and he maintains that Cochrane's fears about additional costs are overblown.
"The costs that might be incurred there I think are so small as to be really of not any great concern.... I'm a little surprised at that reaction," he said.
On Tuesday, the Edmonton Public School Board rejected the province's tentative deal.
The agreement states that all the boards and union locals must ratify the proposal before the May 13 deadline.