The Foothills School Division wants to see a level playing field when it comes to educational assistants.

The assistants are represented by a union while the school division is represented by the Provincial Bargaining Coordinators Office which has a strict mandate for negotiations.

Foothills board chair Theresa Letendre says they're just looking for fairness.

"The thing is we understand the structure and why it exists, we just wonder how they can make it more equitable and flexible because other school jurisdictions across Alberta aren't hampered by the same constraints and can secure staff a lot easier and incentivize them to come, where we don't have the opportunity to do that," she explained.

Says they've lost about 20 assistants to divisions that don't face the same constraints they do.

"Christ the Redeemer school division, their educational systems are not part of a union so, I'm not sure where each individual has gone but people living in the same area and there's two school jurisdictions, one with constraints, one without."

She wrote to education minister Adriana LaGrange earlier this month asking her to advocate with the Treasury Board for a more equitable system and more flexibility in the PBCO's mandate.