ATA News

List bargaining concludes

ATA prepares for central table negotiations

Red graphic for central table, two speech bubbles built with puzzle pieces

The Alberta Teachers’ Association continues progress in the central table bargaining process, reaching an agreement with government and employer representatives during list bargaining.

List bargaining, the preliminary phase where parties negotiate which matters will be discussed at central and local tables, saw fruitful discussions between the ATA’s Central Table Bargaining Committee (CTBC) and the Teachers’ Employer Bargaining Association (TEBA).

During mid-February meetings, both parties finalized a list of all matters to be bargained at each table. Highlights from these discussions include a review of legislation governing teacher collective bargaining and the criteria for determining central or local matters.

Significant impacts on cost or issues common to most school boards are deemed central items, while others are considered local issues. The arbitration on list bargaining from the previous round provided clarity on criteria interpretation, allowing for more direct discussions in this round, said Sean Brown, CTBC’s chief negotiator. 

While not all ATA items made the list of all matters, agreements were reached on negotiating certain matters under already listed items. The preliminary phase of bargaining has now concluded, with preparations underway for central table bargaining.

The central matters survey closed on March 1, with more than 14,000 responses informing the data analysis currently underway by CTBC. This analysis will result in the creation of a goals and priorities document, which will then be reviewed by focus groups composed of members who participated in the survey. The aim is to ensure alignment between the proposed goals and priorities and the feedback received from members. Following this process, Provincial Executive Council (PEC) will approve the initial proposal. Central matters bargaining is expected to begin before the end of the 2023/24 school year.

“It is likely that teachers will need to take a strong stand to achieve the gains and improvements they are looking for,” Brown said. “The solidarity shown by teachers in Edmonton Public, Rocky View, Palliser and Red Deer Catholic will need to be replicated across the province.”

Teachers can anticipate further updates as mandate creation progresses, ensuring their voices are heard in the bargaining process, Brown said. ❚