Catholic schools’ video communication was ruled to be fair

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools (RDCRS) would like to clarify the statements put forth by the Red Deer Advocate on Dec. 5 in an article about the Alberta Labour Relations Board (ALRB) reprimanding our school division.

The video that was involved in the complaint with the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) was not mentioned in the article and was dismissed by the ALRB.

In October 2017, a video was sent to all teaching staff in which superintendent V. Paul Mason explained the school division’s rationale behind the way teachers’ instructional and assignable hours were being implemented.

This video formed the most substantive part of the ATA’s complaint to the ALRB. RDCRS applauds the Alberta Labour Relations Board ruling in favour of the division relative to that video; this was a significant decision in favour of the school division’s actions. The ALRB found the video communication by superintendent Mason was an acceptable communication with staff.

The school board is confident in the processes that have been implemented to ensure compliance with all parts of the ALRB ruling.

The article by the Advocate included names such as Sandra Johnston, the union’s co-ordinator of teacher welfare, ATA president Greg Jeffery and the ATA’s representative bargaining agent, Chris Gibbon, and was later edited to include a quote from Johnston regarding negotiations.

We are disappointed Johnston would attempt to influence negotiations through the media.

Negotiations between the ATA and the school division have been actively ongoing since October 2017, with the most recent negotiating session occurring on Dec. 3.

We have been working diligently with the ATA for a positive resolution to the negotiations. We are hopeful to come to an agreement as we have in the past, but will not be negotiating through the media.

Anne Marie Watson, Red Deer

Anne Marie Watson is board chair of Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools.

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