St. Paul Teachers Authorize Strike Vote

Media Advisory

Release Date 2018 12 19

Teachers employed by St. Paul Education Regional Division No 1 have voted 90 per cent in favour of authorizing the Alberta Teachers’ Association to request a government-supervised strike vote.

The teachers have been working for over 30 months without a finalised collective agreement. St. Paul Division is one of only 10 school boards in the province that have not reached a local settlement for the 2016/17 and 2017/18 school years.

“A key element of teachers’ professionalism is a respectful relationship with our employer. We are asking for a small number of very reasonable improvements that would bring our agreement more in line with other teachers in the province and would be low or even no cost to the board.”

– Greater St. Paul Local president Connie Landsiedel

At a general meeting held last night, the teachers considered the recommendations of a government-appointed mediator and voted to reject those terms for settlement because they offered no substantial improvements over an agreement previously rejected by teachers in November. Landsiedel says an agreement should be easy, with some minor improvements to family illness, bereavement and personal leave clauses or some other no-cost improvements that would demonstrate respect from the school board.

“St. Paul teachers are looking for a fair and reasonable settlement; one that follows the pattern well-established by the 50 other boards already settled.  Our teachers want to be treated like their colleagues in neighbouring jurisdictions.”

– Greater St. Paul Local president Connie Landsiedel

Now that teachers have rejected the mediator’s terms of settlement and a legislated two-week cooling off period has commenced, neither party can take a strike or lockout vote. The authorization for a strike vote allows ATA negotiators to apply for a strike vote after the two-week period has lapsed. If a strike mandate is approved, teachers could legally strike after providing 48 hours notice to the employer.

The Alberta Teachers’ Association is the professional association of teachers in Alberta and acts as the bargaining agent for all teachers employed in public, separate and francophone school divisions. St. Paul Education Regional Division No 1 employs approximately 270 full and part-time teachers in public and Catholic schools in St. Paul, Ashmont, Mallaig, Elk Point, Hairy Hill, Heinsburg, Myrnam and Two Hills.