UPDATE: Rocky View School officials have provided a statement.

Teachers of the Rocky View School Division (RVS) have voted 99.6 per cent in favour of authorizing the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) to request a government-supervised strike vote.

This action followed the rejection of a proposal by a third-party mediator to settle local negotiations in Rocky View. 

Rocky View Schools says it remains optimistic that a local agreement can be reached and has provided the following statement. 

"RVS values our teachers and their commitment to students. We remain focused on the collective bargaining process and optimistic that a collaborative local agreement can be achieved."

In a new release, Amrit Rai Nannan, president of Rocky View Local No 35, states the settlement package offered is unacceptable and Rocky View trustees must return to the table with an improved offer.

“Teachers are being left with no options. We are feeling extremely disrespected, and we are not prepared to take an inferior offer just because the board refuses to listen to teacher concerns. The board is telling us to settle for an inadequate agreement or go on strike, but we refuse to be coerced.”

Rai Nannan said teachers are feeling disrespected and devalued by their employer. Outstanding issues include working conditions for online teachers, compensation for school administrators, and recognition for long service.

She says teachers are upset with the take-it-or-leave-it ultimatum stance taken by the school board negotiators.

If the division's bargaining team doesn't return to the table, it would kick off a two-week cooling-off period, after which the ATA would be entitled to hold a strike vote.

Matters of significant cost and broad impact on Alberta teachers have already been negotiated through central bargaining in the two-table system in effect since 2016. 

Specific local matters are negotiated between individual school divisions and ATA bargaining units. Rocky View teachers have been working without a finalized collective agreement since September 2020.

The Rocky View School Division employs approximately 1,700 contracted and substitute teachers in public schools in Airdrie, Chestermere, Cochrane, Crossfield, Springbank and surrounding areas.

In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, CochraneNow encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the CochraneNow app.