Friday, March 15, 2013

Is the Alberta School Boards Association relevant?

Today the Alberta Government and the Alberta Teachers' Association have tentatively agreed on a four-year contract.

Before the details of the deal were even available, Alberta School Board Association (ASBA) President Jacquie Hansen warned that this deal will have "serious negative impacts" on classrooms. She went on to say that this agreement was made with no input from school boards.

In this morning's press conference Education Minister Jeff Johnson explained that the Tripartite talks evolved into two bilateral tables with the government facilitating the discussion.

Why is it that after 2+ years of Tripartite negotiations no agreement could be found, but the moment the Alberta School Board Association is bypassed a deal could be reached?

67 meetings over 2 years time and Tripartite talks make no progress between Alberta Government, Alberta Teachers' Association and Alberta School Boards Association. Keep in mind that while the Alberta Government and Alberta Teachers Association made proposals during the Tripartite negotiations, the Alberta School Boards Association made none. And now the ASBA are complaining that they weren't included.

While teachers are prepared to take zero pay increases over the next three years, it is the Alberta School Board Association that is objecting to a deal that they were incapable of providing productive input.

The Alberta Government and the Alberta Teachers' Association have a potential contract built on cost certainty, labour peace, stability and a serious look at classroom conditions and yet the Alberta School Boards Association still object.

At this point I have one question:

How relevant and legitimate are the Alberta School Boards Association in transforming and improving Alberta's education system?


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