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PEC Points: Council proposes policy to protect sexual and gender minorities

March 13, 2018 Audrey Dutka, ATA News Staff
Highlights of the Provincial Executive Council meeting held Feb. 26–27, 2018, at Barnett House in Edmonton
  1. Approved one recipient of the Public Education Award, which recognizes individuals or groups that have given outstanding support to public education in Alberta other than through teaching.
  2. Nominated a candidate for the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) 2018 Special Recognition Award, which acknowledges individuals who have made major contributions to their provincial/territorial organization and/or the CTF, and to public education in general.
  3. Named Phil McRae, executive staff officer, Government, to the position of associate co-ordinator, Government—Research, effective May 1, 2018 or at a mutually agreeable time, and named Keith Hadden, executive staff officer, Government—SARO, to the position of associate co-ordinator, Member Services—SARO, effective April 1, 2018 or at a mutually agreeable time.
  4. Approved 142 resolutions dealing with expiring current directives, 45 local resolutions and 86 Council resolutions for presentation to the 2018 Annual Representative Assembly (ARA); assigned speakers to each resolution; and, in the case of local resolutions, approved recommendations of concurrence, amendment and concurrence, nonconcurrence, referral for study and report, or action taken. The package of resolutions will be sent to locals, which will be asked to vote on whether they agree with Council’s position on each resolution.
  5. Approved, for presentation to the 2018 ARA, and assigned speakers to five resolutions urging school boards to develop clear policies and procedures that permit students and teachers to change the name, gender and pronouns on all official employment records to protect their privacy and reflect their lived gender identity; urging institutions with accredited preservice Alberta teacher preparation programs recognized by the Association to ensure that these programs formally and effectively address sexual and gender minority health, safety, and educational needs and concerns for teachers students and families; urging the Government of Alberta to change provincial building codes to require all newly constructed facilities, including schools, to provide universal all-gender washrooms in all public facilities; and urging school boards to respect and protect the privacy and confidentiality of sexual and gender minority students and teachers from unwanted disclosure in all school activities and processes.
  6. Approved amendments to the Administrative Guidelines to include guidelines for entitlement to honoraria by elders, knowledge keepers and cultural advisors.
  7. Approved that the Association identify managing risks associated with political and economic uncertainty as a cross-organizational priority through to 2019/20 and that the Table Officers Committee take responsibility for co-ordinating and organizing the Association’s response for consideration of Council and implementation by staff.
  8. Approved the model frame of reference for Teacher Welfare Committees.
  9. Received the report of a hearing committee, which found a teacher guilty of three charges of unprofessional conduct for not providing adequate notice of absences from school, not completing adequate substitute teacher plans and not submitting report card marks and/or comments to the principal for review and distribution to students and parents in a timely fashion, thereby failing to maintain the honour and dignity of the profession. The hearing committee imposed as penalties a letter of severe reprimand to address charges one and two and a letter of reprimand to address charge three.
  10. Received the report of a hearing committee, which found a teacher guilty of two charges of unprofessional conduct for sending inappropriate text messages to a student from another school, thus failing to treat the student with dignity and respect and to be considerate of the student’s circumstances and thus failing to act in a manner which maintains the honour and dignity of the profession. The hearing committee imposed the penalty of a letter of reprimand to address both charges.
  11. On a case appealed to the Professional Conduct Appeal Committee (PCAC) on the grounds of inadequate penalty, Council received the report of the PCAC, which upheld the decision of the hearing committee, finding that the hearing committee’s decision was reasonable because the penalty fell within the range of penalties as cited by nearly 50 precedents, the hearing committee showed deference to the joint submission on penalty relating to the letter of severe reprimand and the hearing committee deviated from the joint submission on penalty by increasing the fine imposed, thereby demonstrating its consideration to the teacher and other members of the Association.
  12. Consistent with section 31(2) of the Teaching Profession Act, Council extended the deadline for the commencement of a hearing of the Professional Conduct Committee.
  13. Approved that up to three members of Council are authorized to attend the CTF 2018 Women’s Symposium, taking place in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, 2018 05 06–09.
  14. Approved the purchase of eight tickets to the Public Interest Alberta 12th Annual Advocacy Conference in Edmonton, 2018 04 05(eve)–06, and eight tickets to the keynote address in Calgary, 2018 04 04.
  15. Amended the Pension Committee frame of reference to include an annual review of the Capital Accumulation Plan report from Capital Estate Planning.
  16. Named a field member to represent the Association on the Alberta French Language Education Consortium.
  17. Approved an inquiry into the potential terms of reference and cost of a review of Association governance. ❚

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