Legislation and the Teaching Profession
Two pieces of legislation significant to the teaching profession are the Education Act and the Teaching Profession Act (TPA).
There are sections in the Education Act that are of particular interest to teachers and teacher leaders. Specifically,
The TPA establishes and defines compulsory and other options for membership in the Alberta Teachers’ Association and directs governance of the Association. It also sets out the objects of the Association as follows:
Two important pieces of legislation govern the teaching profession. Teachers should become familiar with the Education Act and the Teaching Profession Act, as they contain information crucial to the work of teachers and teacher leaders. #WEAREATA
On January 1, 2023, the new Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers and Teacher Leaders came into effect. The new Code can be found here. This is a significant change as the Alberta Teachers’ Association (Association) has performed this regulatory function for over 80 years. Ongoing discipline cases (initiated prior to January 1, 2023) will remain the responsibility of the Association until June 30, 2023.
The new Code will apply to all teachers across the province and will include all certificate holders, including school leaders and superintendents. Any person may make a complaint about alleged unprofessional conduct of a teacher, teacher leader or any other certificate holder, which may result in disciplinary action and could impact suitability to hold a certificate. In order to file a complaint, a form must be submitted, which can be found here.
Unprofessional conduct and professional incompetence are defined separately in the Education Act. This was something for which the Association advocated. The new Code only applies to conduct and is not intended for purposes of addressing questions of competence. It is important to note that teachers and teacher leaders are accountable for their conduct, on and off duty (same as before). It is also important to note that the new Code no longer has a requirement to advise a colleague of an intention to criticize, although the Association still recommends this as a best practice.
The new processes are complex with short timelines (some as short as 15 days) and include alternatives to hearings, such as dispute resolution, mediation and consent resolution. The Association will ensure that members are treated fairly in accordance with the law and principles of procedural fairness and natural justice. Call the Association immediately if you believe you are the subject of a complaint as there is a short window to act.
Dependent on your location in the province, reach the Association by telephone at 780‑447‑9400 or 1-800-232-7208 (Edmonton area) and 403-265-2672 or 1-800-332-1280 (Calgary area). You can also e-mail email@example.com. We are here to confidentially answer questions and provide advice.
There is a new Code of Professional Conduct for all certificate holders, including teachers and teacher leaders. The new processes are complex and have short timelines. The Association is here to answer questions and ensure that teachers and teacher leaders are treated fairly and in accordance with the law and principles of natural justice. #WEAREATA
Updates from ATA Provincial