Parkland trustees give thumbs down in proposal vote

2006 11 08

Trustees of the Parkland School Division today voted against accepting a proposal from teachers that could have resulted in a collective agreement. Under provincial labour law, either side in a bargaining dispute can request that all voting members on the opposing side personally consider a proposal for settlement. In the case of school trustees, only one vote is then cast that reflects the position of the entire board.

Robert Twerdoclib, president of the Parkland Teachers’ Local, said that the proposal vote was requested for two reasons. “First of all, we wanted to be assured that each trustee, and not just the trustees’ bargaining representatives, had access to and clearly understood our proposal for settlement. Second, we wanted to demonstrate to all Parkland residents where each of their trustees stood concerning finding a way to a fair and reasonable settlement to this dispute.”

According to Twerdoclib, the teachers’ proposal was based on the recommendation of the mediator appointed to the dispute by the government. The mediator had been assigned at the request of trustees, who then refused to accept his recommendation for settlement. “We took some of the mediator’s positions and wrote in concessions that we thought would lead to an agreement,” Twerdoclib said. “Our proposal is for a one-year settlement which, in light of economic trends in Alberta, is the only prudent and responsible position our negotiators can take on behalf of our teachers.”

Twerdoclib said that by the trustees’ rejection of the proposal vote, teachers have exhausted yet another avenue to a settlement and avoidance of the possibility of disruption within the Parkland school jurisdiction.

Parkland teachers provide educational services to more than 9,500 students in schools located between Entwistle and Spruce Grove.

For further information, please contact Robert Twerdoclib at (780) 963-5898.