Teachers employed by Rocky View School Division have voted in favour of a mediated memorandum of agreement to settle local bargaining for the 2020–2024 term.
“We’re pleased that the negotiation team for Rocky View returned to the table and was willing to improve their position on key issues that were holding up a settlement. This agreement is on par with settlements found in neighbouring school boards and opens the door for improvements to the working conditions of distributed education teachers,” said Amrit Rai Nannan, president of Rocky View Local No. 35.
At a meeting held on Sunday, Jan. 28, 76 per cent of teachers in attendance voted to accept the agreement reached with Rocky View by negotiators in mid-January. In November, teachers had turned down a mediator’s recommended terms of settlement and voted to authorize the ATA to take a strike vote if negotiators from Rocky View did not return to the table.
“Teachers were feeling very disrespected and felt they had no other options but to move toward job action. This agreement is an important step in the right direction to begin resetting the relationship between the school division and its teachers,” Nannan said.
Rocky View School Division also voted last week to ratify the memorandum of agreement, so the agreement is now finalized.
Collective bargaining for teachers in Alberta is a two-phase process where matters of significant cost and broad impact are negotiated at a central table, followed by local negotiations between individual school divisions and ATA bargaining units on more locally specific matters. Teachers in Rocky View had been working without a finalized collective agreement since September 2020.
The Rocky View School Division employs approximately 1,700 contracted and substitute teachers in public schools in Airdrie, Chestermere, Cochrane, Crossfield, Springbank and surrounding areas. ❚