Calgary, December 11 (CINEWS): The legislature has passed a new bill that changes the way teachers’ salaries are negotiated and proposes contract bargaining. According to Education Minister David Eggen, the Bill 8 will provide more consistency with teacher’s contracts.
Bill 8, the Public Education Collective Bargaining Act, sets up a two-table approach to reaching collective agreements with teachers.
One will negotiate salary as well as other issues deemed to be provincial in nature. The other will allow school boards to negotiate with Alberta Teachers’ Association locals on matters that affect their board.
A body known as the Teachers Employer Bargaining Association (TEBA) will represent the government and school boards at the main table with the Alberta Teachers Association (ATA).
The government was planning to negotiate the next contract on its own because TEBA wouldn’t have been set up in time for the start of negotiations in early 2016.
School boards weren’t happy about this so the amendment allows TEBA to get set up faster.
The bill changes the old system where 61 boards negotiated 61 contracts with their ATA locals. However, the government, which funds the majority portion of school board budgets, wasn’t at the table. Bill 8 aims to change that to provide more consistency to bargaining.
The current collective agreements with teachers expire on Aug. 31, 2016.