Alberta finance minister says no money available for teacher salary increases

Alberta’s finance minister is taking effective control of upcoming contract bargaining with teachers and says there’s no money for salary increases.

“I’ve been very clear and our position hasn’t changed: in Budget 2020 there’s no provision for increased remuneration levels across the board,” Travis Toews said Tuesday.

“We’re hopeful with every one of our public-sector partner unions that we can all take a look at the … current economic realities and ultimately come to a good agreement on a path forward.”

Toews made the comments prior to introducing an omnibus bill that includes shifting overall bargaining responsibility from the Education Department to his ministry.

The Alberta Teachers’ Association contract with the province expires Aug. 31. Talks on a new deal with its 46,000 members are just ramping up.

The Teachers’ Employer Bargaining Association — made up of representatives for the government as well as for school-board trustees — will still directly negotiate on behalf of the province on broad issues.

Watch below (Dec. 17, 2019): ATA President Jason Schilling speaks on the issues facing education in Alberta, after the organization penned an open letter warning how dire the situation is.

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