Brandon teachers’ contract with the Brandon School Division expires this month, but negotiations on a new one likely won’t begin until sometime this fall.
Brandon Teachers’ Association president Alison Johnston said the current four-year collective agreement ends June 30 and their bargaining committee is currently preparing a package to present to the school division.
Johnston said during this stage in the process, it’s important they receive input from their 700 members as to what issues they want addressed around the negotiation table.
She said they hope to meet with members sometime this month before the current agreement expires.
“We want to know what our members in the trenches are thinking and what’s important to them, what’s going on in the schools, what issues do they feel that we need to address,” Johnston said.
“From there, we take that information and we compile it and then use it as the basis for making a package.”
The length of a new agreement will depend on the items both parties are able to agree upon, Johnston said, adding three years was the longest they’ve been able to negotiate in the recent past.
“I guess we’ll leave the door open and see where the discussion takes us,” she said. “Negotiating a longer-term agreement can be beneficial for both parties.”
Among the issues they plan to address is wages. Johnston said they hope to negotiate another salary increase this year.
“That’s one of the issues that our members are expecting us to bring to the table and talk to our employer about.”
The BTA’s last agreement called for a pair of 1.5 per cent salary increases in the first year and a two per cent increase in each of the next two.
Johnston said they’re hoping to begin negotiations in the fall before trustee elections in October, but that will depend on when both parties can meet.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 11, 2014