Alberta teachers are encouraged to share their views about the most important issues they currently face by completing a bargaining needs survey that is now open.
The survey marks the beginning of the negotiation process that will result in new collective agreements for teachers throughout the public education system. Collective agreements for all teachers employed in one of Alberta’s 61 public, separate and francophone school divisions will expire at the end of August 2024. All teachers, including administrators and substitute teachers, are strongly encouraged to complete the 2024 Bargaining Needs Survey, said Sean Brown, the ATA’s associate coordinator of collective bargaining.
“The survey is one of the key methods that all Alberta teachers can use to provide their input on the creation of the initial bargaining proposal for central bargaining,” Brown said.
“As a member-driven organization, the Association relies on the insights of its members to better understand working conditions and identify areas for improvement.”
A notable addition to this year’s survey is a question about the scope of the initial proposal.
“The more issues the proposal attempts to address, the more challenging it can be to get the employer to understand what is essential,” Brown said.
The Association is therefore exploring the possibility of a proposal that is more focused than the one it took into the last round of central bargaining. A more focused approach could address key areas such as classroom complexity, salary, instructional and assignable time, and benefits, based on feedback received in the survey.
Once the survey period has ended, the data is analyzed to identify the goals and priorities of the membership. If any of the data appears to be inconsistent with expectations, a deeper dive and verification is undertaken to ensure validity.
“The survey informs the creation of the initial proposal, but does not solely direct it,” Brown said.
Beyond the survey, teachers will have the opportunity to contribute further by joining focus groups that will unfold after the survey has concluded.
“The purpose of the focus groups is to show teachers what they told the Association and see if, through our analysis, we got it right,” Brown said.
This additional layer of participation ensures that the nuances of teacher priorities are accurately captured, he said. More detailed information on focus group participation will be available soon. ❚
Central 2024 Bargaining Survey
Have your say before it closes Friday, March 1stStart survey