“Frustrated And Deeply Disappointed”: Arbitrator Rules No Salary Increases For Alberta Teachers

For the seventh time in eight years, teachers in Alberta will not see their salaries increase.

On Friday, the Alberta Teachers Association received the report from the arbitration board that teachers will not be given a raise through their current central agreement.

ATA was seeking a three per cent increase both this year and last – while the Teachers Employers Bargaining Association was seeking a two per cent rollback.

President Jason Schilling tells Mix News teachers across the province are growing frustrated with their situation.

“They want to see some recognition for the complexity of the work they do and also to see some of the issues in their classroom actually resolved as opposed to kicking it further down the road, ‘oh we’ll talk about it next year, or next budget cycle.’”

Combined with other settlements, this decision means general salary increases have happened just once since 2012.

Schilling says the government must keep the best interests of students in mind when they make decisions like these.

“The budget had a shortfall of $275 million and I know of teachers who lost their jobs, class sizes are growing. I know of supports being cut and I don’t think that is what Albertans want in terms of their public education system.”

Schilling also points out that these decisions ultimately lead to bigger class sizes and fewer teachers.

“When you spend more one on one time with students, especially if they’re struggling – little kids like that are all over the map in terms of their learnings and skill levels and so, to try and move them along in their learning – the smaller the size of the class, the better off.”

The current bargaining agreement is set to expire on August 31.

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