Alberta teachers go back to local bargaining
Teacher contracts will now be negotiated with local school boards after talks between the Alberta Teachers' Association, the Alberta School Boards Association and the province failed to reach a provincewide collective agreement.
ATA president Carol Henderson said the decision to end negotiations came after the union's provincial executive council rejected the latest offer from Education Minister Jeff Johnson, which contained only minor changes to the last one.
The decision means teachers will now negotiate contracts with each of the 62 school boards in the province.
"Actually, in some ways, it's very good because boards have their own concerns, teachers have their own concerns in different jurisdictions and they can talk about those issues at the table," Henderson said.
The last five-year provincial agreement where Alberta took over the unfunded liability in the teachers pension plan was an anomaly. Teachers usually bargain with local boards, Henderson said.
The ATA was proposing a four-year deal with wage freezes in the first two years, a one per cent hike in the third year and three per cent raise in year four.
Workload was a sticking point in the talks. The ATA wanted a cap on the hours teachers work, a proposal Johnson rejected last month.
The last contract expired in August.