Experiencing conflict at work? Are you having a difficult time working with a colleague? Are you having trouble communicating in your professional life? Are you feeling frustrated, vulnerable, or attacked? Is a working relationship breaking down?

As terrible as these situations sound, if you answered yes, you are probably not alone. Sometimes intelligent, articulate, sensitive, and caring professionals find themselves in circumstances that are both surprising and desperate. They feel devastated when they are unable to find a way out of the difficulties.

The STA Mediation Service may be able to help.

What is mediation?

Mediation is a carefully designed process that brings people together in conversations, with mediators present, to help them reach a resolution to a dispute.

What is the mediation service?

The MS is a team of volunteer STA members, trained and experienced as mediators, who work with teachers and others to help resolve workplace conflicts.

What is the MS mandate?

The mandate can be found in the STA Policy and Procedures 2.E.02 (a) “to mediate disputes that threaten good relationships among active members and others as appropriate.”

Any STA member is eligible to make a request for assistance.

What type of situation does the Mediation service deal with?

The service can help to resolve a variety of conflict situations including disputes about:

  1. Ethical conduct, including speaking about colleagues or students.
  2. Communication about or with students, parents, administrators, support staff, and/or the public.
  3. Respectful professional relations.
  4. Social interactions.
  5. Resources and/or funding.
  6. Duties, roles, and responsibilities.
  7. Professional responsibilities, including student discipline, teaching style or methods, or assessment techniques.
  8. Professional practice.
  9. Decision making, policies, and procedures.
  10. School culture and climate.

How do we access the service?

Members may obtain the services of the mediation team by contacting an STA officer 604-594-5353.

What about confidentiality?

All proceedings and information shared during the process are strictly confidential between the participants and the mediators.  Any notes taken by the mediators during the discussions are shredded upon completion of the process. The mediators report to no one. The participants are also expected to respect the confidentiality of the proceedings.

What about the Code of Ethics? Can I name names?

For the purposes of the individual interviews, the provisions of the Code of Ethics are set aside so that each person’s perspective can be clearly presented to the mediators. Names can be used during the confidential individual interviews.

I’m nervous; will I be safe?

  1. Mediators are trained to ensure that conversations are conducted respectfully and safely for all parties.
  2. Most mediation involves people who are feeling hurt and vulnerable. In order for the sessions to proceed successfully, mediators are trained to ensure that both parties feel secure as they meet with neutral mediators present.
  3. Participation in mediation is voluntary, each person and/or the mediators, have the right to withdraw from the process at any time.

For more information about the service, please contact the Professional Support Services officer, Kevin Amboe at services@surreyteachers.org or call the STA office at (604) 594-5353.