With 78 per cent support, Alberta teachers have ratified a two year agreement that will take them through the end of the next school year. There are no raises involved, however teachers are getting benefit of a $75 million classroom improvement fund.
Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) president Mark Ramsankar said recommendations made from a panel jointly made of teachers and board members will come up with policies to help take non-instructional time off teachers’ plates. He said almost half have no limits on additional time they must put in, outside of classroom time.
“It was taking a toll,” Ramsankar said. “I think with this ratification vote, teachers are saying we need to be able to get the resource, get the support and get the time to work with Alberta children.”
The contract is retroactive to last September 1, and will run until the end of next school year, August 31, 2018.
“The classroom has become so complex and teachers don’t have the resources nor the time to be able to meet the needs of kids,” Ramsankar said. “That’s what we went after. That was number one.”
Ramsankar confirmed the contract has a ‘me too’ clause in case other employees paid by the province get raises that the teachers right now haven’t.
He added it’s not a done deal yet. The group the ATA was bargaining against, the Teachers Education and Bargaining Association, still has to ratify it.