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Update on Inclusive Education Committee: NLTA Refers Matter to Arbitration

JUNE 6, 2016
The NLTA has been repeatedly and constantly hearing from teachers and parents that the Inclusive Education model is inadequately resourced and as a result children with special needs are not getting the assessments and supports they require in order to be successful in school. During bargaining for the 2012-16 Provincial Agreement, the NLTA negotiated new language in Clause 30.02 which reads:

There shall be a Committee established within six (6) months of the signing of this Agreement for the purpose of conducting a review of resourcing of the Inclusive Schools Initiative. The Committee shall consist of six (6) members, three (3) of whom shall be appointed by the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association and three (3) of whom shall be appointed by the Department of Education. The Committee shall bring a report and recommendations forward not later than six (6) months prior to the expiry of this Agreement.

The Inclusion Committee comprised the following individuals:
Steve Brooks – NLTA Ed Walsh – EECD
Trent Langdon – NLTA John Way – NLESD
Roxanne Skanes – NLTA Eugene May – NLESD

The Committee met throughout 2015 and up until March 2016. Throughout, the NLTA has been constant in its position that the committee’s recommendations must include recommendations on allocations for inclusive education, including recommendations on allocations for Guidance Counselors, Educational Psychologists and Instructional Resource Teachers. It was agreed by all members of the committee that allocations would be a separate theme of recommendations in the committee’s report. Unfortunately the Department of Education at the last hour unilaterally removed language from the draft report that would have allowed for recommendations on allocations for Guidance Counselors, Educational Psychologist and Instructional Resource Teachers.

As a result of this action by the Department of Education, the NLTA filed a formal grievance which was denied by the Department, leaving the Association with no choice but to give notice that the matter is to be referred to arbitration. Arbitrators have been named and dates will be set for hearings. The NLTA will continue to keep its members updated on this important issue.

If you have any questions or require further information please contact Steve Brooks, NLTA Assistant Executive Director,