The Government of Alberta has introduced an amendment to the Public Education Collective Bargaining Act to ensure school boards will be involved in each stage of the bargaining process.
Under the proposed amendment to Bill 8, the Teachers’ Employer Bargaining Association (TEBA), will negotiate with the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) to decide which matters will be bargained locally and provincially.
“Bill 8 was written to ensure school boards would be involved in collective bargaining at the provincial level at all stages, and this amendment ensures that will take place.”
David Eggen, Minister of Education
In the initial draft of Bill 8, government was to be the sole party negotiating with the ATA on matters that should be bargained centrally versus locally, during the first round of bargaining, scheduled to begin in 2016.
The proposed amendment would delay the start of the negotiation process by one month to allow the TEBA to become operational with the full involvement of school boards.
“School boards needed a voice in this first round of negotiations, and I am pleased to see the Minister taking steps to ensure this happens. While we would still like to see other changes, we look forward to working with the government in authentic partnership to strengthen the role of school boards in this process.”
Helen Clease, President of the Alberta School Boards Association
“It’s important that school boards, as the employers, have a seat at the bargaining table to ensure that local autonomy and unique circumstances are given consideration. Edmonton Public Schools is pleased to see that feedback from boards on Bill 8 has been taken seriously and we look forward to further discussions moving forward.”
Michael Janz, Trustee Chair for Edmonton Public Schools
“This amendment shows the Minister is actively listening to school boards. Local matters may be unique in some communities, and this amendment acknowledges the importance of managing those locally.”
John Lehners, Board Chair for Grande Prairie Public School District