Alberta teachers vote in favour of 2-year contract; now up to boards to ratify
'Teachers have had their say and now we have an agreement that is acceptable to teachers'
Alberta teachers have ratified a two-year agreement with no pay raises but money to improve classroom conditions.
The Alberta Teachers' Association said teachers voted 78 per cent in favour of accepting the deal, which came after months of negotiations.
The deal contains caps on instructional and assignable time as well as teacher autonomy over professional growth plans.
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There are no salary increases in the agreement, but provisions will provide teachers with salary increases if other large public sector unions secure pay increases in their upcoming negotiations.
The agreement also includes a $75 million Classroom Improvement Fund that will distribute funds according to locally established priorities.
The Teachers' Employer Bargaining Association still has to ratify the deal, and its vote is expected later this month.
If approved, local bargaining will begin and the agreement will be incorporated into the 61 collective agreements between the association and individual school boards — if not approved, both sides will go into mediation.
"In a time when there is absolutely no money available for salary increases, we were able to make gains that will cost the school boards very little, yet improve the working lives of teachers," said Sandra Johnston, a member of the teachers' bargaining committee.
Association president Mark Ramsankar called the agreement a result of teachers' voices.
"Teacher voice is such a huge part of collective bargaining and our association," he said.
"Teachers set the agenda and they decide the final result. Teachers have had their say and now we have an agreement that is acceptable to teachers."