Parkland School Division Trustees reject mediator’s terms for settlement

2006 10 10

A provincially appointed mediator’s recommended terms for settlement for a new collective agreement, presented to trustees and teachers on September 19, were rejected by the trustees of the Parkland School Division at a meeting held on October 3. The trustees’ action follows acceptance of the terms by members of Parkland Teachers’ Local No 10 of the Alberta Teachers’ Association.

Robert Twerdoclib, president of the 550-member ATA local, said he was alarmed and dismayed by the refusal of the trustees to accept the mediator’s recommendations. “Parkland teachers believe the mediator provided a fair and reasonable compromise that would form the basis of a new collective agreement,” Twerdoclib said. “The terms certainly did not meet all of the expectations of teachers, but we agreed that we could continue to provide our services under the conditions outlined by the mediator.”

According to Twerdoclib, trustees’ rejection of the mediator’s recommendation will heighten tensions between trustees and teachers. “On Thanksgiving Monday, teachers had to meet to authorize the taking of a strike vote,” Twerdoclib said, adding that teachers will face increased stress in their daily work brought on by the confrontational bargaining approach adopted by the trustees.

“Had the trustees accepted the very reasonable terms presented by the mediator, as the teachers have done, there would have been a guarantee that there would be no interruption to student learning this school year,” Twerdoclib said. “Rejecting the recommendation of a mediator, whose appointment trustees themselves requested, has pressed teachers closer to considering job action to reach a fair collective agreement.”

Teachers employed by Parkland School Division No 70 provide educational services to more than 9,500 students in 22 schools located between Entwistle and Spruce Grove.

For more information, please contact Robert Twerdoclib at 780-963-5898.