WTA Collective Agreement Ratification and Pending Lay Offs Information

The following information was shared with WTA Council on May 27, 2021 and emailed to members who have signed up to receive email communications from the association.  

  • The role of the WTA is to negotiate a fair and reasonable collective agreement with salary increases that protect the purchasing power of our members. WTA Council Policy IX states: The Winnipeg Teachers’ Association shall not bargain a reduced salary and/or reduced benefits in exchange for a no lay-off provision. (Revised: October 22, 1991).

 

  • WTA was the last local in the province to settle, and the salary increase is the same as all other teachers achieved in the province.  These increases would have been the goal and likely outcome in the arbitration that was scheduled to begin in July. Why should WTA members receive less than their counterparts around the province?

 

  • The Winnipeg School Division budgets for and decides how WSD funds are spent. While the WTA can provide suggestions and feedback, budget decisions are solely in the hands of the Board of Trustees and carried out by WSD Administration.  The employer chooses how division funds are spent, not the WTA or its members.   Any budgetary issues that the WSD is facing are related to the ongoing impacts of government underfunding of education.

 

  • As part of the bargaining process, the WTA agreed to a change to the layoff notification date in article 20.11 of the collective agreement from May 1 to June 18 in the event that the WSD needed to execute the lay off clause.

 

  • The WTA did not agree to lay offs.

 

  • The WSD has advised they will be reducing the teacher workforce by up to 130 positions and will do so as follows:
    • Each school must identify positions to be deleted based on the size of the school ranging from .5 of a teacher in smaller schools to 2.5 teachers in large schools.
    • The Superintendents department and HR will review and approve the identified positions.
    • The Division will make efforts to place the affected individuals in new positions that are vacant (similar to the surplus process)
    • Following the placements through this surplus process, the division will determine if layoffs are required and will be adhering to the terms and conditions of the collective agreement found in Article 20; Lay Off Procedure. Seniority will be critical in this process.
    • The WSD has indicated that they intend to keep as many teachers as possible in the employ of the division.