Letter to the Editor (Vancouver Sun) by Kari Boyle, Mediate B.C. Society, Vancouver
Re: B.C. teachers' negotiations face 'enormous barriers,' mediator Charles Jago says, March 29
At the time Bill 22 was passed into law, Education Minister George Abbott acknowledged that the mediator appointed under the Act would have to be of "unquestioned stature and impeccable credentials, both from an educational and from a conflict resolution perspective."
On March 28, the Minister appointed Charles Jago to fill this important role.
While Mr. Jago has very impressive academic and business-sector credentials, he acknowledges that he has not taken mediation training and has never conducted a mediation.
While we wish Mr. Jago the best as he attempts to assist the parties to this seemingly intractable dispute, it is important to reflect on the critical importance of conflict resolution skills and experience.
Mediation is not just an "add on" to subject matter expertise. It is not just an extension of good people skills.
Effective mediators must have a well-developed set of specialized skills that require extensive training and experience. That is why Mediate B.C. Society administers rosters of civil and family mediators who have worked hard to obtain basic training and experience requirements.
Their credentials are listed on the Society's website at www.mediatebc.com.
Kari D. Boyle Executive director, Mediate B.C. Society, Vancouver
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