Staff Relations Service

The Staff Relations Service (SRS) is an interest-based conflict-resolution program for maintaining healthy staff relationships.

The SRS also offers all-staff training in interest-based conflict-resolution skills.

What are the objectives of the program?

The SRS follows an interest-based conflict-resolution process.

An interest-based process takes neither a hard approach (the more I get, the less you get) nor a soft approach (seeking a compromise to placate). Instead, participants gain an understanding of each other’s needs and seek to find a solution that satisfies all parties.

How does the process work?

The interest-based conflict-resolution process has four elements:

  • Issue. Depersonalize the problem.
  • Interests. Move from positions to interests.
  • Options. Generate alternative solutions before deciding what to do.
  • Action plan. Insist that the results consider the interests of all parties.

Unlike a court-mandated or arbitration process, the people involved in the conflict make the decisions, with the help of neutral facilitators. This lays the groundwork for healthy long-term working relationships.

Participation in the process is voluntary and free for active ATA members.

The process is confidential. The ATA is notified only about whether the process was successful.

Who can participate?

  • All members of a school staff, to develop interest-based conflict-resolution skills
  • A small group, focusing on resolution-oriented actions and dispute resolution
  • Two parties involved in an interpersonal or work-related conflict

For more information about the SRS, contact Teacher Employment Services.


What is mediation?

In the SRS program, mediation involves interest-based assistance with a problem-solving approach. The mediators help all parties develop an agreed-upon solution.

When does the SRS process work best?

The SRS process works best when all parties want a resolution that will strengthen their ongoing relationship.

Who are the SRS facilitators?

The SRS facilitators are certified mediators selected by the ATA. They work in confidence and are independent of both the employer and the ATA.

Does the facilitator impose a decision?

No. The facilitators are not arbitrators. It is up to the parties involved to craft a solution that meets their needs. Facilitators guide the process.

If I participate in the SRS, do I give up my right to pursue other solutions?

No. Participating in the SRS does not remove any of your legal rights. The SRS provides an informal way to help members resolve their own problems. It does not replace existing mechanisms. If the SRS is not implemented or does not succeed, formal channels (such as discipline, transfer, termination, arbitration or litigation) are still available.

Can I be sure that my privacy will be maintained?

Yes. All sessions are confidential. All notes, documents and records are destroyed at the end of the process. Only your agreement to participate and the mediator’s statement of success or nonsuccess are kept.

Who pays?

The SRS is free for active members of the ATA.

What if the matter is before the courts or an arbitration panel?

When other formal channels are active, the coordinator of Teacher Employment Services will decide whether the SRS process should be terminated, suspended or continued.


Teacher Employment Services