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Edmonton Public teachers approve latest settlement offer from school board

A potential strike by teachers in Edmonton’s largest school division appears to have been avoided.

More than 1,600 teachers met on Sunday at the Edmonton Expo Centre, where they voted 95.6 per cent in favour of the latest offer from Edmonton Public Schools.

The members of Edmonton Public Teachers’ Local 37 of the Alberta Teachers’ Association have been working without a finalized collective agreement since September 2020.

They had voted down the school board’s previous offer in mid-December.

Heather Quinn, the local’s president, said the latest proposal has “put some teachers’ minds at ease” about certain issues, including questions surrounding paid professional development for substitute teachers, working conditions for online teachers, administrators’ schedules and the school calendar.

Quinn said she’s “cautiously optiomistic” for the deal, which still needs to be ratified by the school board, which is slated to next meet on Jan. 23.

“What I think we have agreed upon gives a good balance on both sides,” she told CTV News Edmonton on Monday. “I think it does give teachers some reassurance going forward in terms of respect from the employer and respect for the jobs that they do within their classrooms.”

In a statement emailed to CTV News Edmonton, a spokesperson for Edmonton Public Schools said they’re pleased teachers ratified the recent proposal, adding “the latest offer includes improvements to five areas teachers have told us are important to them.”

Edmonton Public Schools employs about 7,000 contracted and substitute teachers.

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Adel Ahmed

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