Akron Teachers Union Files Strike Notice Against Akron Public Schools

The Akron Educational Association today filed a notice with the state saying it intends to go on strike if a contract agreement is not reached with the Akron Public School Board of Education within the next 10 days.

The teachers’ union could go on strike on Monday, Jan. 9 if negotiations fail, which would mean layoffs of nearly 3,000 teachers and other staff, leaving open the question of how the district will continue to educate 20,000 students.

The union has been operating without a contract since mid-2022. Stumbling blocks, according to union guidance and negotiation minutes, include teacher safety, student discipline and pay. The union and the county’s negotiating team met with the federal mediator throughout December but were unable to reach an agreement. The strike also comes after several recent serious security incidents in which two students brought loaded weapons into school buildings and in November one student was stabbed. Earlier this month, the Board of Education approved $3.5 million for upgraded external security measures, such as new metal detectors, as well as some mental health programs.

Akron Educational Association president Pat Shipe expressed disappointment in a press release on Thursday.

“Akron’s public schools are ignoring the concerns of the Akron community about the safety and security of schools,” Shipe said. “Weeks of unprecedented fighting are currently taking place daily in Akron school buildings, however the Superintendent and Council remain committed to softening the definition of attack and forcing students, teachers, parents and families to endure more violence, unrest and learning disruptions. most Akron students.”

The union also made several statements in its letter about the board, district manager and Superintendent Christine Fowler-Mack:

  • That Akron Public Schools used American Plan of Rescue Act money to pay for “extravagant travel and accommodation to attend workshops at resorts in Florida and Colorado,” and treated administrators to holiday dinners and alcohol at a local brewery.
  • This superintendent Fowler-Mack “refuses to move” to the school district and instead keeps a hotel room within walking distance of his office.
  • That the council “refused to answer”, among other questions, who pays the bill for this accommodation.

A spokesman for Akron Public Schools said Thursday morning that the district is working on a response to the release.
In a letter to teachers’ union members sent on Wednesday, the negotiators argued that the board was “virtually unwilling to negotiate in good faith” or respond to the union’s requests for public documents.

The Board of Education is meeting tonight to discuss negotiations with the union, and another meeting is scheduled for Thursday next week. Board of Education leaders have previously said they hope to reach an agreement with the union, citing the common goal of providing a good education to all Akron students.

According to a copy of a fact-finding report that attempted to find a solution to disagreements between the union and the administration in November, the district administration called for an increase of just under 2% each year for the next three years, while the union demanded 5% each. year.

The researcher said that even with a modest increase in wages, spending exceeds revenue each year, meaning the county will need to push for a levy in the coming years. Of the 13 contributions made on the ballot since 1985, only six were approved by voters and only two were accepted on the first try.

A union press release says the district has “never been in a better financial position than it is at present” thanks to an infusion of federal pandemic aid, while 20% of teaching positions currently remain unfilled or “occupied by unqualified personnel.” “.

Content Source

News Press Ohio – Latest News:
Columbus Local News || Cleveland Local News || Ohio State News || National News || Money and Economy News || Entertainment News || Tech News || Environment News

Related Articles

Back to top button