Alberta teachers and school boards will be asked to ratify a two-year labour deal that includes a wage freeze and a $75-million “classroom improvement fund.”
The deal would cover the period from Sept. 1, 2016, to Aug. 31, 2018.
The province announced a tentative agreement Wednesday. According to the Alberta Teachers' Association, the parties signed a memorandum of agreement Monday. None of the parties will reveal the details until teachers and school boards vote to approve it; however, the Journal has seen the memorandum.
“I’m very satisfied where we’re at a point here where we’ve got an opportunity to start a new page," teachers' association president Mark Ramsankar said.
He said the deal offers "significant value" for teachers and students.
Information meetings will be held for the next several weeks and teachers will vote online May 11-14.
Teachers have been without a contract since Aug. 31, 2016.
It's the first time Alberta teachers have bargained with a new group called the Teacher Employer Bargaining Association, made up of representatives from government and some school boards.
The parties first had to agree which issues would be discussed at the provincial table, and which would be bargained with local school boards. The tentative agreement includes only provincial issues, such as salaries, classroom conditions and practice conditions for teachers.
The teachers' association is sharing details of the proposed deal with its 46,000 members, who teach in public, Catholic and francophone schools across the province.
If a majority of members accept the contract, the teachers will begin local bargaining. Some benefits and professional development terms are hammered out with local boards.
School boards will vote on the contract May 24, the Alberta Treasury Board said in a news release.
The teachers' previous contract included a three-year wage freeze, followed by a two per cent raise and one per cent lump-sum payout in the agreement’s final year.
The government is also in talks with several other major public sector unions this year, including Alberta nurses and government employees.