Deadline looms for Alberta teachers to approve deal
Government could impose deal if it isn't approved by Monday's deadline
A deadline is fast approaching for Alberta teachers to approve the tentative deal reached between their union and the province.
Education Minister Jeff Johnson said Friday that he will spend some time before the deadline on Monday trying to get the opposing voices to support the deal.
The deal needs to be unanimously approved by all 62 of Alberta's school districts and union locals.
"After three years of work and after a tentative deal, and after you have 95 per cent of those involved supporting it, do parents and Albertans want us to let this deal fail?" says Johnson.
"I don't think they do and we're convinced that it's the right thing to do to make sure that it succeeds."
Boards, unions split on approval
The tentative four-year deal calls for a three-year wage freeze, followed by a two per cent increase in 2015 and a one per cent cash bonus in the fourth year.
Rocky View School District — which represents schools in rural areas surrounding Calgary — voted to support it on Wednesday, and Calgary public teachers also supported the deal earlier this month.
Johnson says if the deal is not approved the government will be looking at alternative methods of implementing it — including imposing the deal through legislation or even firing the dissenting school boards.
Alberta's teachers have been without a contract since August.