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Tuesday, 31 May 2011 09:07

Teachers, government going to special mediator

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At the request of both parties, Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister and Attorney General Don Morgan has appointed Richard Hornung, Q.C. as special mediator to help end the dispute between the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation and the Government-Trustee Bargaining Committee (Saskatchewan School Boards' Association and the Government of Saskatchewan).

Both sides have agreed to work with the mediator in an effort to reach a fair settlement and have agreed to suspend all job action and advertising activity until the mediation process reaches a resolution.

"We are hopeful that appointing a special mediator will assist the parties in concluding a collective agreement," Morgan said. "The special mediator will examine any issues in dispute and focus on assisting the parties to reach consensus on outstanding differences."

Hornung is a well known and accomplished mediator, conciliator and arbitrator with a national practice based in Calgary. He is a former professor of law at the University of Alberta, was a senior partner specializing in civil litigation, labour law and alternative dispute resolution and was vice-chairperson (currently in a part time capacity) of the Canada Industrial Relations Board. He has also served as chairperson of the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board.

If the special mediator is unable to obtain consensus between the parties on outstanding issues prior to June 10, 2011, he will prepare a report for consideration by the Minister and Cabinet, setting out the findings of the mediation and providing recommendations for the resolution of the outstanding issues.

The special mediator shall submit his report to the Minister on or before June 30, 2011.

Under The Human Resources, Labour and Employment Act, the Minister has the authority to appoint an individual "to perform special duties in connection with disputes in industry between employers and employees or trade unions".

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