St. Paul Education Regional Division Number 1 teachers could be on strike in two weeks time. In an announcement made late on December 19th, the SPERD board says they voted 90 percent in favour of moving forward with the Alberta Teachers Association in a government-supervised strike after rejecting the terms of a settlement proposed by the province. The ATA says SPERD teachers have been working without an agreement since before 2016.

In a statement released today, SPERD Board Chair Heather Starosielski says the move from the Alberta Teachers Association is “disappointing”

“St. Paul Education is staffed by some 257 full-time equivalent teachers and approximately 314 support staff. Every employee whether it be a teacher or a support staff member is important to the success of our students. St. Paul Education’s decisions are guided by what is best for students. It is also recognized that teacher interests in bargaining may sometimes differ from Board priorities for students”.

“The Board of Trustees is disappointed and surprised that in the last month the ATA has twice voted down settlements that were supported by the Local ATA Negotiations Committee, the Provincial ATA representative and the government-appointed mediator. The Board is currently evaluating and planning next steps. We will be better able to comment and release a full response in the coming days”.

A mandatory two-week cooling-off period is now in effect. A strike can only begin after the two weeks has ended. Christmas break for students in the division begins tomorrow.