Students in Ohio’s largest school district will begin classes Wednesday remotely after teachers rejected a final contract offer and voted to strike late Sunday night.
Columbus Education Association teachers were on the picket line at several school buildings Monday morning, the first day teachers were scheduled to report, after 94% of its members voted to strike for the first time since 1975.
Teachers in Ohio’s largest school district are prepared to continue negotiations over the weekend but have scheduled a Sunday meeting for a vote on a potential strike.
After 12 hours of negotiating Thursday, the Columbus City Board of Education made what it called its final contract offer, which teachers called substantially unchanged from their most recent.
Ohio’s largest school district continues to move forward with plans to open the school year for students Aug. 24, despite the system’s teachers union getting closer to a strike.
Jennifer Adair, president of the Columbus City Schools Board of Education, said in a statement the board was troubled to learn the Columbus Education Association filed a notice of intent to strike a day after a 20th negotiating session.
A little more than two weeks from the first day of school for students, teachers in Ohio’s largest school district voted late Thursday night to authorize a 10-day strike notice.
With contract negotiations stalled, the Columbus Education Association voted to give its strike notice. This allows it to file that notice with the State Employment Relations Board at any time. Students are scheduled to start school Aug. 24.
A Columbus Teachers Union wants two more weeks of remote learning as Ohio and the rest of the country deal with the latest COVID-19 outbreak.
“We know we keep asking the district what are the metrics and how is it determined whether schools are closed. And they can’t tell us what they use or how they close schools. There’s no metrics or data that they will share with us in how they determine whether or not a school closes,” Columbus Education Association (CEA) president John Coneglio reportedly said.