Alberta’s Teaching Profession Act gives certain central office staff members the right to opt out of ATA membership. If they choose to remain ATA members, this is called election of membership.
Those who elect ATA membership can become either active or associate members
Am I eligible to make an election of membership?
According to the Teaching Profession Act, two groups of teachers can elect to become (or remain) ATA members or to not be a member:
- carry out central office administrative functions for the school board,
- do not carry out teaching functions, and
- are designated or described in the Teacher Membership Status Election Regulation.
- are designated to an administrative, supervisory or consultative position and
- are not among the teachers on whose behalf the ATA is bargaining.
If you meet these criteria, you are eligible to make an election of membership in the ATA.
Will I be notified if I’m eligible?
School boards must provide a notice to teachers who are eligible to make an election of membership. They also must provide a copy of this notice to the ATA.
What do I do if I’m eligible?
If your board has identified you as eligible, you have 60 days from the date you receive the notice to provide a written notice to the ATA and to your school board. This notice must take the form prescribed in the Teacher Membership Status Election Regulation (Form 1). If you do not comply with this requirement, you will retain your current membership status (active membership).
What happens if I opt for associate membership or nonmembership?
If you choose associate membership or nonmembership, you remove yourself from the collective agreement. You then negotiate a personal services contract with your board.
What are the risks of nonmembership?
If you’re a teacher who is not covered by a collective agreement, you have little employment security beyond your ability to enforce your personal services contract at your own expense. If your board decides to abrogate (repeal) or terminate your contract, the matter is resolved at civil trial in the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta.
Can I change my mind once I’ve made an election of membership?
According to section 5.1(2)(b) of the Teaching Profession Act, a teacher’s election “may not, unless otherwise permitted by the Minister, be revoked or amended during the period of time that the teacher remains employed in the circumstances . . . in respect of which the election is made.” In effect, your membership election is tied to all central office work, not just your specific central office position. Therefore, if you move from a consultant position to a supervisor position, you may have different duties, but the circumstances (that is, central office administration work) remain the same.
What happens if I opt out of ATA membership and then return to teaching in a classroom?
When you begin teaching in a classroom again, you will become an active member of the ATA.
How does the ATA help to confirm that I am eligible to make an election of membership?
The ATA asks boards to provide copies of the job descriptions of teachers identified as eligible for election of membership and then ensures that the eligibility is correct. If you or the ATA disagrees with your board, your eligibility can be adjudicated by the Alberta Labour Relations Board.