What’s the Difference Between Assignable and Instructional Time?
A ½-hour duty-free break every day is not assignable (cannot be at the beginning or the end of the day).
Which teachers have assignable 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 who are in receipt of an allowance but who do not have administrative designations. Part-time teachers are prorated on the average instructional time of a teacher at that school. Refer to your collective agreement for times, or call Teacher Employment Services at 1‑800‑232‑7208.
Which teachers are not subject to assignable time limits?
These are teachers with administrative designations whose primary function is not instruction, including those teachers who have principal in their titles (that is, principals, vice-principals, assistant principals). Central office staff (for example, psychologist, director of special education, interschool coordinator) may not be subject to the time limits, provided that their primary function is not instruction of students.
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 provided by another certificated teacher or nonteacher (for example, preservice teacher or instructor of students in the Registered Apprentice Program).
Tracking instructional time is important, especially if teachers are required to cover teaching assignments of absent colleagues. Teachers should calculate their own assignable and instruction hours by using the two calculators here. #WEAREATA
Changes to Employment Insurance
The employment insurance system has been amended as of September 26, 2021. Many of the key changes will apply only to new claims made for benefits beginning September 26, 2021 and are still pandemic related.
Teachers applying for employment insurance (EI) will need to have worked a minimum number of hours to qualify for benefits. Previously, teachers needed 600 hours to qualify for maternity or parental benefits; if they applied for regular benefits, the number of insurable hours required to qualify varied in different parts of the province, based on local labour market conditions.
Over the last year, all new EI applicants received a one-time hours top-up to help them qualify, but this requirement has been amended. As a result, teachers will need to have accumulated 420 hours of insurable employment during their qualifying period to be eligible for EI benefits until September 24, 2022.
Further, to access EI sickness benefits, teachers will now be required to submit a medical certificate proving they are ill and unable to work. The requirement was waived temporarily over the last year because of COVID-19.
Maternity and Parental Benefits
Employment Insurance maternity and parental benefits entitle teachers to receive 55 per cent of their earnings, to a maximum of $595 per week. If a teacher’s claim starts between September 26, 2021 and November 20, 2021, the teacher will receive at least $300 per week before taxes, but could receive more. For extended parental benefits, teachers will receive at least $180 per week before taxes, but could also receive more. The weekly floor is planned to apply to claims made between September 26 and November 20.
No one with an existing EI claim will experience any changes to the value or duration of their benefits under these new rules.
Recent changes to Employment Insurance will affect Alberta teachers as of September 26, 2021. Teachers willneed to have accumulated 420 hours of insurable employment during their qualifying period to be eligible for EI benefits until September 24, 2022. #WEAREATA
Check Your Pay Statement
A teacher’s annual salary (found in the collective agreement) is based on years of education (as determined by the Teacher Qualifications Service) and years of experience (as determined by the teacher’s collective agreement).
Teachers are paid according to the Education Act, which states that teachers are paid 1/200 for each day they work (with a few variations). Since funds are allocated to school divisions over 12 months, paying teachers 1/12 of the annual salary each month from September to August is easier for everyone to budget, including school divisions.
Teachers must review their pay statements every month, particularly if they are still moving up the salary grid and are expecting to earn an increment. If a teacher reviews their pay statement and it appears that they have not been paid correctly, it is their responsibility to contact their employer to resolve the discrepancy. If the teacher is not able to correct the error with the employer forthwith, the teacher must contact Teacher Employment Services (TES) so that the Association can provide support in a resolution. Delays in reporting an error in pay could result in a loss of income, so it is critical that every teacher closely scrutinize their pay statement.
1) For full-time contract teachers, the simplest way to check for an error is to multiply the amount figure listed on the pay statement as “gross pay” or “total earnings” by 12, then compare that sum to the salary grid in the collective agreement.
2) For part-time contract teachers, confirm annual salary on the grid in the collective agreement, multiply that sum by the teacher’s FTE (for example, 0.50 or 0.86 or 0.25) and divide by 12. This sum should be the gross pay or total earnings figure on the pay statement.
3) For teachers in receipt of an allowance, the simplest way to check for an error is to multiply the amount listed on the pay statement as gross pay or total earnings by 12, subtract the annual allowance and compare that sum to the salary grid in the collective agreement.
Deductions must also be reviewed to confirm that they are correct. Maximum annual employee premiums for the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI) are reached partway through the year. Teachers often see an increase in net pay once those maximums are reached and are no longer deducted from monthly cheques.
Check your pay statement every month to ensure that your salary is correct. Review the deductions and make sure they are correct. Remember, you may reach maximum deductions for the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI) partway through the year. #WEAREATA