7 Jan 2014

Governors mediate in college dispute

9:19 pm on 7 January 2014

The governors of Columba College in Dunedin have become involved in a stand-off about the principal's management style.

Columba College in Dunedin.

Photo: RNZ

In December last year, the Ministry of Education began pushing for an urgent resolution to the year-long dispute between the school's board of trustees and teachers who belong to the Post Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA), which says the school has become a toxic workplace.

The parties agreed to try external mediation, but the union said they have delayed it until at least the end of January as the college's board of governors has offered to try to broker a solution.

Columba College is an integrated school and has a board of trustees, responsible for staffing matters, and a board of governors, which is normally responsible only for the school's land, buildings and special character.

PPTA general secretary Kevin Bunker has welcomed the offer because he said the issues are best solved inside the school if possible.

Mr Bunker said staff feel someone is taking notice of them and have an air of confidence they have not had for 12 months.