The ATA has rejected an incentive offer by Alberta's education minister to sign a proposed contract before the budget is tabled next week.

In a letter to the Alberta Teachers’ Association, Alberta’s Minister of Education, Jeff Johnson proposed a three-year pay freeze and a 2 percent pay hike in the 4th year.

If teachers approve the deal before the budget is tabled, they would also receive a one percent cash incentive in both the third and fourth years.

If they don't sign on in time, Johnson says the incentives are off the table.

The ATA announced on Tuesday that its executive council voted unanimously to reject the minister's offer to settle collective agreements for four years.

“The minister’s offer is unacceptable,” said ATS President, Carol Henderson. “There are no provisions for placing reasonable limits on the amount of time that teachers can be assigned to work by their employer boards, and what provisions there are for limiting the amount of time teachers are in the classroom are full of loopholes. In financial terms, it is actually worse for teachers than what he proposed in December. Finally, there still remains the need to guarantee stability for teachers just as it guarantees stability for school boards and the province.”

Henderson responded to the letter from Johnson saying that "Teachers do not respond well to ultimatums," and says that her group has been working for months with the province to reach a deal.

“We’ve said no to the minister’s offer, but yes to collective bargaining, and yes to fair solutions with locally elected school boards,” said Henderson.

The province will deliver the budget on March 7th.