ATA News

Council targets use of ‘notwithstanding clause’

Highlights of the Provincial Executive Council meeting held Oct. 26–27, 2023, at Barnett House in Edmonton.

  1. Adopted the following interim policies and referred them to the 2024 Annual Representative Assembly for confirmation:
    a. The Association opposes the use of the “notwithstanding clause,” section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, by governments to diminish or disregard the rights of persons in legislation.
    b. The Association prioritizes the safety and security of students and so opposes legislation, regulations and policies relating to issues of student gender and relationship diversity that may expose students to heightened risk of physical, psychological or socioeconomic harm.
    c. The Association opposes legislation, regulations or policies requiring teachers to disclose information concerning a student’s gender or relationship identity or expression.
    d. The Association supports teachers in the exercise of their professional judgment concerning how best to protect the privacy, safety and security of gender- and relationship-diverse students.
  2. Confirmed Association support in principle for, and interest in participating in, a consultation event concerning the use of the notwithstanding clause (section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms) by governments to diminish the rights of Canadians and potential remedies.
  3. Determined that the bargaining unit for the teachers at Edmonton School Division has met the objectives of bargaining in good faith, has demonstrated the support of its members, and is within the objects recommended by Association policy and guidelines.
  4. Approved in principle and referred to Finance Committee for costing a proposed list of programs on which the Association should focus in 2024/25.
  5. Approved the Association’s 2023/24 budget for capital expenditures.
  6. Authorized a contribution of $3,000 to the Education International Solidarity Fund to assist trade unionists and teachers affected by the 2023 09 08 earthquake in Morocco.
  7. Named Jeff Huculak to the position of Executive Staff Officer, Teacher Employment Services, with duties to commence on Jan. 1, 2024, or at a mutually agreeable time. 
  8. Authorized the executive secretary to approach the Government of Alberta with the intent of pursuing an agreement for the Association to undertake the work to develop and present Code of Professional Conduct training for its members to fulfil competency requirements within the Teaching Quality Standards, the Leadership Quality Standards and the Superintendent Leadership Quality Standards, with funding provided by the Government of Alberta.
  9. Authorized up to eight members of Council to attend the Parkland Institute Annual Fall Conference, taking place on Nov. 17–19, 2023, in Edmonton.
  10. Authorized the Association to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Government of Alberta, facilitated by the Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund Board, to implement an alternate surplus management arrangement.
  11. Amended the administrative guidelines relating to procedures for known, extended and approved absences of vice-presidents.
  12. Received an appeal of a decision of the Hearing Committee of the Professional Conduct Committee.
  13. Amended the Standard Constitution for Convention Associations to include the Human Rights Statement.
  14. Named field members to serve on the Committee to Review Summer Conference and Calgary Area Field Experiences Committee and named a representative to the Alberta Ukrainian Language Education Consortium. ❚