Overview & Instructions

Convention Attendance

The Association's Protocol for Convention Attendance
1. All active members of the Alberta Teachers’ Association under contract to public, separate, and Francophone school authorities have legal as well as professional obligations to attend the annual teachers’ convention to which they have been assigned.

2. Members are expected to consider their convention dates as a professional priority when planning for the school year and as an essential component of their ongoing professional development.

3. School authorities, Association subgroups, school staff and individual teachers shall not organize any activities on convention dates that conflict with members’ obligations to attend their assigned convention. Any activities so scheduled may be contrary to the School Act.

4. No person at the school or district level has the authority to direct a member to not attend their assigned convention. Requests from members regarding the use of negotiated leave provisions may be approved only by those personnel specified in the member’s collective agreement. All other requests concerning convention attendance must be made to the Association.

5. Although worthy enterprises, the following are not sufficient reasons for requesting to be absent from convention:
  • School, district, or government meetings/events
  • Travel for school, district, or government meetings or events
  • Supervision of school field trips, activities or exchanges
  • Volunteering or other employment
  • Personal meetings, events, travel or recreation
  • Self-directed study, university classes, course work or research
  • Individual or group planning, marking, or administrative work
  • Diploma exam marking or provincial curriculum writing
6. In exceptional circumstances, members may contact the Association to request release from their convention attendance obligations or to seek permission to attend a convention other than the one to which they are assigned. Requests will only be considered from those members who meet all eligibility criteria and application deadlines.

7. Unless released from their convention attendance obligations, a charge of unprofessional conduct under the Teaching Profession Act and/or Association discipline bylaws may be lodged against any active member who fails to attend their assigned convention. School authorities have the right to deduct pay from any teacher who is absent from their assigned convention without proper authorization.

8. For the purposes of defining convention attendance in relation to negotiated assignable time limits, Joint Interpretation Bulletin No. 1-2017 (August 25, 2017) between the Association and the Teacher’s Employer Bargaining Association (TEBA) states, “Six (6) hours are allotted to each day of Teachers’ Convention”.
Requesting Release from Convention Attendance
In addition to accessing the leave provisions included in their collective agreement, a member may request to be released from all or part of their assigned convention to:
  • Attend an alternate professional development event that is scheduled during their assigned convention; or
  • Coach at a provincial finals competition organized by the Alberta Schools' Athletic Association.
Requesting to Attend an Alternate Convention
A member may request to attend a convention other than the one to which they are normally assigned if they:
  • Are a distance education or online educator who lives outside of the geographical area of their assigned convention;
  • Are seconded from their employer and their duties while on secondment either make it difficult for them to attend their assigned convention or they are required to live outside of the geographic boundary of their assigned convention during their secondment; or 
  • Have found themselves in a convention attendance conflict that is beyond their ability to resolve.
Application & Approval
Approval for each of the above requests is determined based on slightly different information which is collected on the following pages of this online form. Please ensure that you provide all requested information. Please do not expect an immediate response to your application. Requests will be reviewed on the following schedule:
  • Requests for release from convention to attend an alternate professional development event are reviewed by convention attendance committees on an ongoing basis until six weeks before the first day of convention.
  • Requests for release from convention to coach at ASAA finals events will be reviewed every Friday, from December 15 until March 1.
  • Requests for alternate convention attendance (for distance/online education teachers and teachers on secondment) are due on December 15 and will be reviewed then.
  • Requests for alternate convention attendance (for teachers with other convention attendance conflicts) will be accepted and reviewed on an ongoing basis.
  • If you have not heard back about your application or if you have any other questions regarding convention attendance, please call the Alberta Teachers' Association at 1-800-232-7208 and ask to speak to the Professional Development Duty Officer.
The Alberta Teachers’ Association requires the information collected through this online form in order to conduct the professional and business affairs of its membership and will collect, use, and disclose the personal information about you accordingly. For inquiries, objections, or concerns about how the Personal Information Protection Act applies to your personal information, please refer to our privacy policy on the Alberta Teachers’ Association website. Please contact the ATA at 780-447-9400 or 1-800-232-7208 and ask for the Privacy Officer for more inquiries about privacy concerns.

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