Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to come to convention?
All certified teachers employed in Alberta's public school boards have a legal and professional obligation to attend their designated teachers' convention each year. These two convention days are paid days of work. Being absent from convention can result in unprofessional conduct consequences including lost wages, fines, termination, and removal of certification.
To be absent from convention to attend a unique professional development opportunity that occurs at the same time, a teacher must be granted permission to participate in Alternate PD by their designated teachers' convention committee. For more information, check under the Alternate PD menu at www.cctca.com.
Can I come to convention?
This question is answered differently for different people.
Pre-service teachers may attend teachers' convention provided: they are in the final year of their Bachelor of Education degree program at an institution recognized by the Alberta Teachers' Association and have paid for a current membership in their faculty's student ATA local (education undergraduate society). Convention identification for eligible teachers is distributed through the student local. The provincial ATA determines which students from which institutions can attend which conventions. For more information, contact Dan Grassick at the ATA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Substitute teachers do not have to attend convention but they can if they want to. An ATA membership card is required to clear security at convention venues. Substitute teachers can print a replacement membership card through the ATA website. At convention, a temporary membership card can be picked up at the CCTCA information desk, but must show proof of employment and position (such as a pay stub or school board identification).
Teachers on Leave
There are many different types of leave and, thus, there are many different answers to this question. A teacher on medical leave is not able to attend convention, because, contractually, convention days are paid days of work. If a teacher on medical leave attends convention, they would be expected to return to work the next school day after convention.
Teachers on maternity/parental leave, unpaid leave, or professional improvement leaves can attend convention provided they have paid their local union dues for the year. They should call their local office to check their status. These teachers can receive their lanyards and convention ID through their ATA Local office or at the convention information booth. An ATA membership card, school board ID, or proof of employment are required.
Teachers from Reserve/Private/Charter/Virtual/Home Schools and Teachers from Out of Province
Teachers who are not employed in Alberta public schools can attend the Calgary Convention, but they must meet all requirements for Out of District registration including purchasing the highest level of ATA membership possible and paying the CCTCA Out of District delegate fee. Information on how to proceed is available under the Registration menu at www.cctca.com.
Teachers from other Alberta Public School Boards
ATA members must attend their designated regional teachers' conventions.
Can I bring my child to convention?
No. Convention is a paid work day. Arrangements for child care during convention are the same as during a day of school. Teachers who bring children to convention will be asked to leave and will be contacted by a provincial ATA staff officer. Unprofessional conduct review may result.
How is convention funded?
Each year, the CCTCA receives approximately $700,000 in funding from convention fees paid by members of ATA Locals 38 and 55 (currently $60 annually), registrations, exhibitors, and social event tickets. Approximately 50% of this income is spent on speaker expenses including honouraria, travel, accommodation, and substitute release costs. Just over 40% goes towards paying for facility rentals, audio-visual costs, shuttle service, and printing. The remaining funds are spent to cover the year-round convention planning costs including website maintenance and app development, professional accounting and legal services, meeting costs, and committee member expenses. Large amounts of money are spent securing the TELUS Convention Centre and Hyatt Regency years in advance.
Is there free Wifi at Telus Convention Centre, Hyatt Regency and St. Mary's High School?
This is not free, but the CCTCA does pay for a certain number of consecutive wireless connections at our two downtown locations. Teachers are welcome to connect using the wifi access code that will be provided during convention, but are asked to do so conscientiously. We have a large number of delegates; if all teachers connect, connection speed becomes limited. Once you login with a wireless device, your device is remembered.
Why is there no program booklet?
Until 2011, the CCTCA spent over $30,000 a year on program booklet printing and distribution. On top of being a huge expense, the program booklets were almost immediately obsolete; by the time books arrived at schools, they were already out of date. Add to this that most teachers discarded their book each year, there was a significant impact with little real value.
The CCTCA continues to improve its website and mobile apps; digital resources that are constantly updated, even during convention.