The last round of Central Table Bargaining achieved significant changes for school leader designations. Previously, contract terms for assistant principals or vice-principals varied throughout the province. Many assistant or vice-principals never achieved continuing designations; some were only offered one-year contracts to be reviewed annually. The Mediator’s Recommended Terms of Settlement, ratified on June 10, 2022, included provisions for assistant and vice-principal continuing designations.
Effective September 1, 2023, a teacher designated as an assistant or vice-principal shall enter into a series of term contracts for a period of up to five (5) years. Up to two (2) of these five years may be on a probationary basis. Following the term contract maximum of five (5) years, inclusive of the maximum two (2) years probationary period, the Division must decide whether or not the designation will continue, and if it continues, it is deemed to be a continuing designation.
Any current assistant or vice-principal who has had a term contract(s) for a term(s) of a total of less than five years on September 1, 2023, may continue under the term contract until the total number of years designated as an assistant or vice-principal is five years.
This means that, if you are an assistant or vice-principal under contract for less than five years, your contract can continue, but a decision must be made regarding continuous designations before the five-year mark.
If you are an assistant or vice-principal under contract for more than five years, your evaluations, if required, must be completed in the spring 2023 in order to adhere to the timeline prescribed in the Mediator’s Recommended Terms of Settlement. Be sure to request your evaluation to be completed before the end of the 2022/23 school year so that you can secure your continuing administrative designation for September 2023.
Further Mediator’s Recommended Terms of Settlement provide that:
For any current assistant or vice-principal who is on a term contract(s) for a period of five years or more as of September 1, 2023, the Division may extend the temporary contract for one additional year and must decide by January 1, 2024 whether or not the designation will continue, and if it continues, it is deemed to be a continuing designation. If the designation is not continued, it will expire at the conclusion of the term provided in the term contract, unless it is otherwise terminated in accordance with the express provisions of the term contract.
Thus, if you are on a term contract(s) for five years or longer by September 2023, your division can extend this contract for one additional year. This would be a temporary contract, and the decision to extend or end the contract would have to be provided by January 1, 2024.
The Mediator’s Recommended Terms of Settlement included provisions for assistant and vice-principal continuing designations. If you are an assistant or vice-principal, be sure to inquire into your eligibility for a continuing designation. If you have any questions, contact Teacher Employment Services at 1-800-232-7208. #WEAREATA
It is human nature not to bother shopping around for less costly alternatives. We are, after all, busy and would rather just get it done! Yet we complain when we are out of pocket for something our neighbours or friends found at a lower cost—or even had fully covered by their benefit plan.
Consumers should be aware that cost savings are available for many products by just looking a little further. Retail prices are marked up to increase the profit margins of the retailer.
Markups and upselling (where the retailer suggests that you need more) apply to almost every product or service. Consumers pay hundreds of dollars out of pocket every year for services and supplies that could have been purchased for much less. Consider shopping around.
For example, you can find savings in the following ways:
The savings are out there, but we all need to do a little work to find them.
Be a wise consumer! Save your pocketbook, your benefit plan and your family by shopping around.
In an economy of rising prices and getting less for more, let’s all do our part by shopping around for a better deal. #WEAREATA
Subsequent to the interruption of sick leave management administrative procedures at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers across Alberta have resumed their active management of teacher sick leave. Some have developed new administrative procedures, and others have amended or reinstated existing division policy.
A shortage of substitute teachers across Alberta has led to escalating pressure on contract teachers to provide internal coverage for their absent colleagues and has generated an increase in active sick leave management on the part of many employers.
Teachers must be afforded the time necessary for illness and for medical and dental appointments. However, employers are increasingly articulating that teachers are expected to return to work once their appointments have concluded. From the perspective of some employers, teachers should remain at work or return to work if the appointment time reasonably allows them to do so. They are also strongly encouraging teachers not to book full days for appointments.
Employers cannot inquire as to the diagnosis or the particulars of a teacher’s medical condition; therefore, they cannot know if taking a half day or a full day is appropriate for a specific appointment. There are many sound reasons for taking a full day of sick leave for an appointment. Factors such as travel time and, especially, if the appointment coincides with particularly difficult medical news, are part of determining the time needed for an appointment. In other circumstances, the preparation for or recovery from a procedure necessitates the time away.
Employers have the ability to
· meet with a teacher in relation to absences,
· inquire as to prognosis and functional limitations,
· know whether sick leave is for a mental or a physical illness for long-term absences,
· inquire into supports or accommodations that might be required,
· implement a plan for further monitoring and follow-up meeting and
· direct a teacher to attend an examination by a physician of the employer’s selection (under section 226 of the Education
Depending on the specific collective agreement, the employer can ask the teacher to provide
· the time of an appointment,
· the geographical location of an appointment (that is, whether it is in or out of town, but not the address or the name
of the clinic or doctor),
· a signed statement providing the reason for a leave or
· a doctor’s note after a specified number of days of absence.
The employer cannot
· prevent the teacher from accessing sick leave entitlements,
· prorate sick leave by the hour (sick leave entitlements are either full or half days),
· require the teacher to return to work after an appointment,
· require the teacher to stay at work until the appointment time,
· require the teacher to provide a diagnosis of the medical condition,
· direct the teacher to attend school if the teacher is ill,
· prescribe medical treatment for the condition or
· require the teacher to provide a list of medications.
Employer sick leave management administrative procedures cannot disentitle teachers to leave provisions in their collective agreement. Teachers must be afforded the time necessary for illness and for medical and dental appointments. If you have questions about your employer’s policies on sick leave management, contact Teacher Employment Services at 1‑800‑232‑7208. #WEAREATA
Keeping Track of Your Instructional and Assignable Time
The Mediator’s Recommended Terms of Settlement Has Increased the Cap on Teachers’ Instructional Time
The mediator’s recommended terms of settlement, ratified on June 10, 2022, has changed the maximum time that teachers can be assigned to the instruction of their students to 916 hours per year. Prior to the ratification, 15.3 per cent of teachers had noinstructional time protection, while the remaining 84.7 per cent were capped at 907 hours or less of instruction per year.
While the majority of teachers are now subject to an increase in instructional assignment, many have not seen a variance in their schedules. However, substitute teacher shortages provincewide have led to an increase in demand for internal coverage of teacher absences. If a teacher covers a colleague’s class, then that teacher has provided instructional service and that time must be recorded toward the 916-hour maximum. Teachers must understand their instructional and assignable time allocations, and track any additional assignments to ensure that the cap has not been exceeded.
Which teachers are subject to the instructional time limits?
Any teacher whose primary function is to provide instruction to students is subject to the applicable teacher instructional and assignable time limits. This includes lead teachers and teachers in receipt of an allowance but who do not have administrative designations. This also includes teachers who are supervising the instruction of another certificated teacher or nonteacher, for example, preservice teacher or instructor of students in the Registered Apprentice Program.
*A daily half-hour duty-free break is not assignable and cannot occur at the beginning or end of the day.
The mediator’s recommended terms of settlement changed the instructional time cap to 916 hours per year, so tracking instructional time is important especially if teachers are required to cover teaching assignments of absent colleagues. Teachers should calculate their own assignable and instructional hours by using the two calculators here. #WEAREATA
Why is it called Bargaining 2020?
The last round of collective agreements expired on August 31, 2020. Phases 1 and 2, the central portions of bargaining, are complete. Local bargaining has commenced. This 2020 bargaining remains until all school divisions reach a memorandum of agreement.
Current status of Bargaining 2020
In phase 1, the Association and the Teachers’ Employer Bargaining Association (TEBA) negotiate the list of central items. View the list of all matter (LAM) HERE.
In phase 2, the Association and TEBA negotiate individual central items on that list. View the mediator’s recommended terms for settlement and agreed-to items HERE.
In phase 3, bargaining units and school divisions negotiate the local items. Local bargaining for this round began at the start of the 2022/23 school year. Bargaining units are currently engaged in local bargaining. It is important to watch for communications from your Teacher Welfare Committee (TWC) so that you are aware of and can participate in the mandate development (surveys and focus groups) and bargaining unit general meetings (BUGMs) to ratify your initial proposal.
Teachers will also be called to attend BUGMs during active bargaining at the table either to ratify a memorandum of agreement or to provide information and/or further direction to their TWCs, like application for mediation.
The process to amalgamate the mediator’s recommended terms for settlement and agreed-to items with each bargaining unit’s memorandum of agreement/mediator’s terms of settlement will create the 2020–24 collective agreement. This will begin once ratification of each local table agreement is completed.
Local bargaining is happening now! Connect with your Teacher Welfare Committee to stay up to date on the progress of bargaining, and be sure to attend your bargaining unit general meetings (BUGMs). #WEAREATA
Updates from ATA Provincial