Historic agreement creates new opportunities for education
School boards and ATA achieve five years of labour peace through solution to the teachers’ pension issue
Edmonton – Alberta students, teachers and parents can celebrate the beginning of a new era for education now that five-year collective agreements are in place between all 62 school boards and local teachers’ bargaining units.
Alberta’s school boards and teachers’ bargaining units have been working towards these collective agreements to meet a requirement of the Memorandum of Agreement between the government and the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) to address the teachers’ unfunded pension liability.
“This is a historic day. School boards and the Alberta Teachers’ Association are to be congratulated for meeting the January 31 timeline to resolve the longstanding teachers’ pension issue,” said Premier Ed Stelmach. “This gives us all an unprecedented opportunity to put those issues aside and work together to create a number of exciting new initiatives for our students.”
On November 15, government announced a Memorandum of Agreement with the Alberta Teachers’ Association to address the $2.1 billion teachers’ pre-1992 unfunded pension liability. A key condition of the teachers’ pension liability agreement was the requirement for collective agreements between the 62 publicly elected school boards and the local teachers’ bargaining units by the deadline.
“Today marks the beginning of an exciting new time for education in Alberta,” said Education Minister Ron Liepert. “I know many people worked very hard to make sure this MOA became a reality, and in particular I’d like to thank Premier Stelmach for his leadership in addressing this issue. With this agreement in place, we can spend the next five years focusing on our students and exploring new and innovative ways of meeting their learning needs.”
“Education is the winner today,” said ATA President Frank Bruseker. “We now will be able to focus our full attention where it belongs – on teaching and learning in our province’s classrooms.”
“School boards see tremendous opportunity in the next five years of labour peace, which has been made possible thanks to the hard work of school boards, the ATA and our Minister of Education,” said Heather Welwood, President of the Alberta School Boards Association. “Let’s get on with making a difference for students in this province.”
More information on the agreement and a copy of the Government-ATA MOA are posted on the Alberta Education website at: www.education.alberta.ca
Strengthening the education system is an important part of Premier Stelmach’s plan to secure Alberta’s future by building communities, greening our growth and creating opportunity.