Teachers’ wage decision sets tone for other education workers
CALGARY – An arbitration decision awarding Alberta teachers a 5.99% wage increase sets the stage for a similar agreement with non-teaching staff at Alberta public schools.
That was the call from CUPE Alberta President Dennis Mol, who represents 7,000 education workers in the province.
The decision stems from contract language many education workers had awarding them wage increases in line with the Alberta Average Weekly Earnings index as of September 1, 2009. Statistics Canada changed the way they calculated the increase, increasing the award from 4.82% to 5.99%. The Alberta government refused to pay the increased wage, setting up a legal challenge with teachers and other education workers.
Mol said CUPE has seventeen locals with grievances against their school divisions for the full increase. He called upon Education Minister Dave Hancock and the school districts to settle with CUPE rather than fight losing arbitrations.
“Now that the teacher’s decision has come out, Minister Dave Hancock should instruct school divisions to award the higher amount to other employees too,” said Mol. “Instead of forcing workers to take the government to arbitration, which they will lose, he should fund the full increase.”
Contact: Lou Arab