ATA News

New video series explains basics of teacher bargaining

Illustration of individuals sitting at a table with pie charts on the wall.

When teachers in Alberta bargain their collective agreements, it’s done through two separate but connected stages. It’s a unique and complicated process that can cause a great deal of confusion for many members.

For that reason, the Alberta Teachers’ Association is creating a series of videos that explains the bargaining process in a clear, concise manner. 

“Unfortunately, confusion about the negotiation process often leads to disinterest and disengagement,” said Sean Brown, the ATA’s associate co-ordinator for Collective Bargaining. “These videos will help teachers follow the process and get involved.”

Titled Bargaining Basics, the video series is being produced in 10 instalments.

  1. Why do we collective bargain?
  2. What’s my role?
  3. Process overview
  4. Who represents me?
  5. Central vs local bargaining
  6. Preparations and opening
  7. Negotiations and mediation
  8. Impasse
  9. Dispute
  10. Resolution, ratification and agreement

Each video is between 1.5 to 2.5 minutes long. The series can be viewed in order or at the member’s discretion. Brown said he wanted to ensure the videos were brief and free of the jargon that often creates confusion. 

As the videos are completed, they will be added to a playlist on the Association’s YouTube channel, which already includes the first two video instalments. The ATA’s January school mailing will include a brochure further detailing each of the videos and their content.

“These collective agreements impact our members on a daily basis,” Brown said. “Many of the benefits we enjoy today were hard-fought gains from previous negotiations. We need the involvement of the entire membership to make sure those gains don’t start to slide.” 

Brown says one of the most valuable assets negotiators can bring to the bargaining table is the support of the full membership. 

“We need engaged members who know what they want and, more importantly, how to get it. Hopefully this video series will help us achieve that.”

The Bargaining Basics video series is being produced in both English and French. 

How to view

To view the videos, go to the ATA’s YouTube channel and look for the Bargaining Basics playlist

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