The Columbus Education Association announced that more than 94% of its members voted to go on strike for the first time since 1975, rejecting the Columbus City Board of Education’s last-minute proposal.
The official confirmation was that CEA members were seen leaving a meeting at the Greater Columbus Convention Center and were allowed to use picket signs inside that read, “On Strike,” or contain similar words. It was done after
About 4,500 union members, representing teachers, librarians, nurses, counselors, psychologists and other education professionals, met for more than three hours at the convention center to vote.
Previous article on CEA voting:
Members of the Columbus Education Association are voting inside the Greater Columbus Convention Center on whether to start a strike against Columbus City schools.
The doors closed just after 7:00 pm and about 4,500 union members, representing teachers, librarians, nurses, counselors, psychologists and other educational professionals, entered.
The CEA said the vote would take several hours and the results would likely not be known until early Monday morning.
If the strike is approved, union members will begin picketing outside schools late Monday morning, usually heading to work to prepare teachers.
The first day of school for students in the City of Columbus is Wednesday. (Woodcrest Elementary School, the district’s only year-round school, resumed classes on July 27.)
columbus schoolWhere can Columbus City Schools students get food in the event of a teachers’ strike?
Failed negotiations between the school and the Columbus Educational Association
The Columbus City Schools Board called for two negotiation sessions last week, but both sessions between the board and unions with federal mediators failed to reach agreement.
Thursday’s session, the 22nd negotiating session, will last 12 hours and the Board will hire 25 additional full-time school nurses, behavioral specialists, school psychologists and speech pathologists for 2024 and 2025. made another final proposal to Give teachers additional planning dates in 2024 and 2025. And promises to put CEA “at the table to deal with equity-based staffing.”
According to a copy of the unfair labor practices complaint filed against the union by the school board, early in the negotiations, the CEA will offer an 8% increase in each stage of the 2022-23, 2023-24 and 2024-25 salary scale. I was looking for it. Obtained by The Dispatch on August 3rd.
Negotiations between CEA and BoardWhat’s the Break in Contract Negotiations Between Columbus City Schools and the Teachers’ Union?
According to the complaint, the school board reported that the first counteroffer on May 23 was a 2.5% increase in each salary tier for 2022-23, 2023-24 and 2024-25.
According to the complaint, the board said its “final proposal” at the time of the complaint is a 3% increase in salary tiers for 2022-23 and a $2,000 retention bonus to be paid over the next two years. reported.
The board’s final proposal on Thursday included a 3% pay increase.
“By the end of this three-year contract, teachers who earned an average salary of $74,000 in the district last year will have earned more than $91,000,” said Board Chair Jennifer Adair. % increase.”
A first-time teacher can also earn more than $50,000 in the first year of a contract, according to the district.
According to the district, the final proposal will also provide teachers with a day dedicated to planning while students are out of school for each of the 2023-24 and 2024-25 grades.
What does the Columbus Education Association Union want?
In addition to the functioning of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system at the school, the CEA had previously requested small class sizes. Full-time art, music and physical education teacher. Increased planning time for teachers. Maximum number of teaching hours per day. and “other working conditions for recruiting and retaining the best educators for students.”
Earlier this month, the CEA provided the state Employment Relations Commission with the necessary formal notice of its intention to strike and picket if no new contracts were awarded.
The school district responded to the problem with HVAC systems and is using $35.6 million in federal elementary and middle school emergency relief funds created for the COVID-19 pandemic to upgrade HVAC systems in 13 school buildings this summer. said to update.
Work to update the HVAC systems will be completed on seven buildings in time for the scheduled start of classes, while work on the other six buildings will not be completed until September.
In addition, two other buildings (Columbus Alternative High School and Hubbard Elementary School) are required to have air conditioning throughout the building until the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year.
Mifflin Middle School is another school that does not have air conditioning throughout the building. But with a new middle school likely to be built on the Mifflin Middle School site, Columbus City Schools will invest in his HVAC upgrades across the existing building’s new building, according to the district’s proposed facilities master plan. It doesn’t seem ready.
How will the Columbus teachers’ strike affect the first day of school?
The state’s largest school district, with nearly 47,000 students, plans to start the semester remotely if union members vote to strike and stay on the picket line Wednesday. The move has drawn criticism from parents at Columbus City Schools, who are concerned that many students did not. Work well remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown.
The district said it has moved to “synchronous and asynchronous distance learning,” and that district buildings will be closed to students and community members, according to information on the district’s webpage. However, 25 school sites provide free lunch and breakfast meals to students in to-go containers.
“The school district administration will be contacting parents and students with instructions for commencing the distance learning program by the first day of school,” the district said.
In the event of a strike on the day classes are scheduled to begin, students will be required to attend school via distance learning.
Columbus City Schools has 600 substitutes who will be given the remotely taught curriculum, said Jacqueline Bryant, spokesperson for Columbus City Schools.
Columbus City Schools last went on strike in 1975.
Ohio Teachers’ Federation President Melissa Cropper said a teachers’ strike would be a last resort.
“Strikes allow us to gather a collective voice to say that these issues are so important to us, our students, and the communities in which we live. she said.
She said that COVID-19 has given people different expectations of what the teaching and learning landscape will look like.
“If you can study in front of a computer in an air-conditioned home instead of going to overcrowded classrooms without proper ventilation and heating, how can you tell me that you care about education and that there is no place like that?” Can you send me??” said Cropper.
Other Greater Columbus School Districts on Strike Recently
Gahanna-Jefferson Schools went on strike for 4 days in 2020. This is the latest school district to go on strike in Greater Columbus.
The contract that ended the strike gave teachers a 2.25% base salary hike, and classroom cameras, which were controversially cited as one of the reasons for work stoppages, are still in use, though not as frequently as first discussed. I was.
Reynoldsburg school teachers went on strike for 21 days in 2014. The strike ended with a new contract, but it didn’t include a class size cap. Instead, the contract read, “The parties agree that in grades K-4, 25 students per class, in grades 5-8, 32 students per class, and in grades 9-12, he will have 35 students per class. agree with the inspiring goal of being a student of
The board’s first proposal would eliminate gradual and periodic pay raises and increase teacher performance in the classroom, student scores on state tests, and evaluations under Ohio’s new teacher evaluation system. was paid based on It also eliminated group health insurance in favor of cash payments to purchase insurance through the new Affordable Care Act.
REA resisted the terms of the contract, rejected merit-based rewards, and called for tighter caps on class sizes and planning time. The union also filed an unfair labor practices complaint against the district, claiming details of the proposed contract should not have been published online.