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No fee increase for teachers as budget approved

May 30, 2017 Janice Sledz, ATA Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer

ARA delegates pass 2017/18 budget; annual fee remains at $1,242

Delegates attending the 100th Annual Representative Assembly (ARA) approved a 2017/18 budget that will see no fee increase. The assembly considered a variety of program proposals and worked together to approve this budget, which will maintain the annual fee at the current level of $1,242 for a full-time teacher for the 2017/18 fiscal year.

The delegates approved the funding of nine proposed new initiatives for the 2017/18 fiscal year. The cost of this new spending will be offset by the elimination of programs that will be completed in the current year and the expected increase in membership of full-time teachers. Teacher numbers have been steadily increasing and projections are for this trend to continue as student numbers across the province continue to rise.

New initiatives include revising workshop and presentation materials due to changes to the Education Act, a review of the Staff Relations Service pilot program, a matching grant program for the development of a community of practice using an inquiry model, support to Public Interest Alberta to undertake a poverty awareness campaign and a research project to undertake case studies to examine teachers’ responses to complex student populations through the use of online education initiatives. Also new will be a Strategic Leadership Seminar pilot program offered during Summer Conference.

In addition, funds have been set aside for the implementation of a new committee that will review the current mandate, structure, governance, financing and programming of teachers’ conventions.

The Teacher Welfare program area will see an increase in the intermediate staff complement to assist in the collection and analysis of financial data from the Alberta government and provincewide statistics on conditions of members’ professional practice. This has become a necessity with the advent of central table bargaining.

Finally, the Alberta Teachers’ Association will be assuming responsibility for the operation of the online programs and services provided by the 2Learn Education Society, which will be losing its government funding this year.

Delegates also approved the addition of $10,500 to the Well-Being of Children and Youth Conference budget line that will allow for increased participation.

The approved budget carries a deficit of $16,850. ❚

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