Teachers urge province to reverse funding cuts
Delegates to the Alberta Teachers’ Association annual general meeting passed several motions on Saturday asking the province to reverse cuts to education.
The ATA says the province’s school boards will be short $197 million next year.
Teachers say they’re teaching larger classes, facing layoffs and seeing cuts affecting special needs students.
"My biggest class is 36," said Edmonton teacher Katie McMillan.
"The kids do a bit of a dance to get up and down the rows because the desks are so tight to they have to kind of twist their hips. And I mean that's only going to get worse next year."
Education funding isn’t the only issue that is frustrating teachers.
Last week, the Alberta legislature passed a bill implementing a four-year agreement with the ATA after several school boards and union locals refused to accept the deal.
Outgoing ATA president Carol Henderson believes that deal strips teachers of their bargaining power. However, she hopes they can still convince the province to reverse cuts to funding..
"We’re going to advocating for that," Henderson said. "And we’re going to be advocating very forcefully."
Teachers are expected to discuss more than 185 resolutions during the weekend-long meeting at the Westin Hotel in downtown Edmonton.