Alberta teachers' union rejects merit pay idea

The Alberta Teachers Association is rejecting a suggestion by Education Minister Jeff Johnson of using merit pay to attract the best teachers to the province.

"He's really open to all ideas that support that, including having a discussion with Albertans about things like merit increases," said ministry spokesperson Leanne Niblock, who added that the idea was raised during the "Inspiring Education" consultations.

But the ATA believes merit pay, which pays teachers based on the results they get from their students, is a bad idea.

"It has not worked in the past," said ATA president Carol Henderson. "There's no research, no evidence."

Talks aimed at reaching a province-wide contract with teachers ended unsuccessfully last month. Teachers will now negotiate contracts with each of the 62 school boards in the province.

Niblock says any further discussions on the issue would only occur after new collective agreements are signed.

Johnson was not available for comment on Wednesday.

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