Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools interfered with the work of the Alberta Teachers’ Association, according to Alberta Labour Relations Board. (Photo from Facebook)

Labour board reprimands Red Deer Catholic schools

Division interferes with Alberta Teachers’ Association

The Alberta Labour Relations Board has ruled that Red Deer Regional Catholic Schools interfered with the work of the Alberta Teachers’ Association in 2017.

The union filed an unfair labour practice complaint after principals were sent an email encouraging them to attend an ATA meeting where teachers were going to discuss their concerns about an increase in their work hours with superintendent Paul Mason.

The email was sent by associate superintendent Dave Khatib so principals could “counter vocal detractors who may be embellishing what is really happening,” according to the decision released this week.

The ATA said if principals attended, teachers would not be able to speak freely, and the meeting was cancelled.

The email wasn’t the labour board’s only criticism of the school jurisdiction. It found that text messages between Mason and a principal “sought to sow dissension among ATA members.”

The board also said a letter from associate superintendent Kathleen Finnagan to ATA president Greg Jeffery was an attempt to have Chris Gibbon, the ATA’s representative bargaining agent for Red Deer Catholic, removed from his position and interfere with the administration of the ATA and spokesperson selection.

The Alberta Labour Relations Board ruled Red Deer Catholic interfered with the representation of teachers by the ATA and ATA’s administration by its conduct and communications.

The board ordered Red Deer Catholic to cease such conduct.

“All staff are valuable and a key part of our school division. After the Alberta Labour Relations Board ruling, we are prepared to follow their directive,” said Mason in a statement to the Advocate.

Said Sandra Johnston, the union’s co-ordinator of teacher welfare: “We are pleased with the decision of the labour relations board, which found that the Red Deer Catholic School Division has interfered with the rights of teachers and the association to bargain fairly on their behalf.”

Johnston said Red Deer Catholic teachers have been working without a collective agreement for more than two and a half years and are one of only 13 jurisdictions that have not reached an agreement for the 2016-through-2018 period.

“Instead of focusing on reaching a fair settlement, the school division has attempted to use divisive tactics to thwart an agreement – like the ones the labour relations board just ruled against,” said Johnston, who encouraged the school board to return to the bargaining table and work toward an agreement.

“If they are not able to do that, then we will ask them to join us in submitting the dispute to voluntary arbitration for settlement. It is long past due for a settlement to these negotiations, so that teachers, students and the school division can move on.”



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, receive flu shot. Photo via Government of Alberta
COVID cases climb in central zone, Red Deer

The total number of active COVID-19 cases in the province reached 3,138… Continue reading

Many rural municipalities were concerned about a proposed reduction to their industrial revenues, but Alberta’s municipal affairs minister has come up with an alternative solution. (Photo contributed)
Energy industry support won’t injure municipalities

Creating new wells or pipelines would result in a three year ‘tax holiday’

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Premier Jason Kenney participated in a livestream on Oct. 17, 2020. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
UCP members pass resolution at AGM calling for privately funded health care option

EDMONTON — Members of Alberta’s governing United Conservative Party have narrowly endorsed… Continue reading

“We weren’t sure what to expect with just doing the 50/50. We have been positively surprised with sales so far,” says Craig Fleming, co-chair of the Red Deer Kinsmen Club’s raffle. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Non-profits put their money on 50/50 draws

COVID impacts fundraising events

Student taking a math test. (Pixabay photo)
David Marsden: Students need more testing, not less

Testing has been central to Alberta’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s… Continue reading

Gillian Robertson celebrates her win over Sarah Frota during UFC 240, in Edmonton, Saturday, July 27, 2019. Robertson used her superior grappling skills to dominate Brazil's Poliano Botelho en route to a unanimous decision win Saturday night on a UFC Fight Night card. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian Gillian (The Savage) Robertson dominates in UFC decision win in Abu Dhabi

Canadian Gillian (The Savage) Robertson dominates in UFC decision win in Abu Dhabi

Forge FC head coach Bobby Smyrniotis, right, hugs captain Kyle Bekker following their victory in the Canadian Premier League soccer final against Cavalry FC in Calgary, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. A month after winning the Island Games in Charlottetown, Hamilton-based Forge FC is back on the move. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CPL champion Forge FC off to El Salvador for CONCACAF League preliminary-round match

CPL champion Forge FC off to El Salvador for CONCACAF League preliminary-round match

Course workers prepare the landing area at the ski jump venue in Whistler Olympic Park in Whistler, B.C. Friday, Feb. 5, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Next generation of Canadian ski talent sets sights on Whistler, B.C., in 2023

Next generation of Canadian ski talent sets sights on Whistler, B.C., in 2023

Mighty Heart is held by groom Siobhan Brown in his stall at trainer Josie Carroll's stable at Woodbine Racetrack, in Toronto, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. The one eyed horse, will run in the $400,000 Breeders' Stakes on October 24, attempting to become Canada's first horse to win the Triple Crown since Wando in 2003. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Rain could present big challenge in Mighty Heart’s quest to capture Triple Crown

Rain could present big challenge in Mighty Heart’s quest to capture Triple Crown

Veteran sniper Evgenii Dadonov excited to join Senators: ‘It’s a perfect fit’

Veteran sniper Evgenii Dadonov excited to join Senators: ‘It’s a perfect fit’

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II (27) gets pushed out of bund by Green Bay Packers free safety Darnell Savage (26) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
Packers seek to bounce back after embarrassing defeat

Packers seek to bounce back after embarrassing defeat

World junior hockey championship opens on Christmas Day for first time since 2005

World junior hockey championship opens on Christmas Day for first time since 2005

Most Read