02/27/2015 12:29 EST | Updated 04/28/2015 05:59 EDT

ATA president says teachers have already done their part, warns against cuts

EDMONTON - The president of the Alberta Teachers' Association says his members have already done their part and hope to be spared from an anticipated bad-news provincial budget.

Mark Ramsankar notes that teachers' wages were frozen in the first three years of their four-year contract, with only a two per cent raise and a one-time lump-sum payment in the final year.

He says teachers are already struggling, and if the province tries to cut further, they will simply not be able to provide the necessary services for children.

He also says classroom sizes will get larger as another 19,000 students are expected to enter the school system this coming year.

Premier Jim Prentice has cautioned that everyone will have to feel some pain while the price of oil bottoms out.