Published online at GlobalTVEdmonton.com on January 18, 2011.
Linda Hoang, Global News: Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Teachers asked to give up 4.3% raise
Teachers across the province might have to give up a 4.3% raise they’re expected to receive later this year.
According to the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) website, Alberta Education is proposing the salary cut as part of a new agreement between the government, teachers and school boards across the province.
“The government, faced with managing a $5 billion budget deficit, is asking teachers to forgo that increase… in return for other benefits,” the union said in a release.
Those benefits would include new limits on the amount of time teachers need to spend in the classroom as well as limits placed on teachers’ time spent beyond regular classroom hours.
Other benefits in the proposed agreement is a new framework regarding professional development, a new consultation committee to address government issues, maintanence of class size and a committment to provide funding to school boards.
Along with giving up the salary hike, Alberta Education’s proposal is also asking teachers to accept that there may not be many raises in the future either.
The current five-year agreement between the ATA, ASBA and Alberta Education is in place until the end of the 2011/12 school year and ensures regular wage increases in exchange for labour peace.
But the government is now asking teachers and boards to consider replacing that agreement with a new one — one that includes the raise cut proposal.
If accepted, the new agreement would extend to 2015.
But the union says the deal wouldn’t go ahead unless every school board and every teacher bargaining unit in the province agreed to it.
The ATA says a formal proposal is expected to be presented by government in the next few weeks. At that time, more detailed information is expected for teachers and trustees.
There’s been no comment yet from Education Minister Dave Hancock, the president of the teachers’ association or the ASBA.