Approved: CMSD gives the Cleveland Teachers Union contract a Big Thumbs Up

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland school board members voted unanimously on a resolution to approve the Cleveland Teachers Union contract.

That's good news for more than 500 teachers in the Cleveland School District.

Wednesday, after six days of voting, members of the Cleveland Teachers Union passed the proposed Tentative Agreement by a strong majority.

82% voted in favor of the new 3-year pact.

The agreement keeps teacher seniority in place and implements a peer review process.

It will also allow the District to recall of many of the Cleveland Teachers Union members who were notified of their layoff in April. The total number of classroom personnel that will be recalled will be equal to $17 million.

Recalls, which are expected to begin on August 16, will allow class size to be far below the 45:1 ratio that would have occurred.

"I am pleased that the Tentative Agreement has been accepted by the members of the Cleveland Teachers Union. We were able to find creative ways to reduce costs, as well as enhance the programs necessary to ensure a high-quality teacher in every classroom," said Cleveland Teachers Union President David J. Quolke.

This agreement maintains the current seniority system, enhances services to students, and ensures comprehensive teacher development and evaluation systems, as well as expansion of the Peer Assistance and Review Program.

"This contract builds a foundation on how to truly transform our Cleveland Schools," Quolke said. "The Cleveland Teachers Union firmly believes it is the teachers - those who have daily contact with the children - who should help define the changes in education."

Financial Impact of CTU Contract:

CTU Salary Component $11,747,525

3 Voluntary Professional Days 3,677,000

3 Professional Development Days 3,993,525

¾ Step Freeze 4,077,000

Health Care Component $4,583,240

Increased monthly contribution 2,618,240

Kaiser premium reduction 765,000

Prescription Benefit Manager 700,000

Working spouse monthly contribution 500,000

Retirement Savings $709,703

Total $17,040,468

In addition to the financial components of the contract, both parties agreed to develop a robust model for teacher development and evaluation that will include student performance data, unannounced teacher observations and increased flexibility for evaluation timing. Additionally, the agreement reflects new student-focused language for special education, removes transfers based on seniority as the priority over all other transfers and increases collaboration between CMSD and CTU in Academic Transformation Plan decisions.

While both parties agreed to a three-year contract, certain issues are subject to reopening: 1) If the Board projects a deficit of more than $5 million in any given year, the District can reopen for salaries, employee benefits, payment for professional development days and stipends for class size overage; or 2) If the District receives "new monies" in excess of $5 million, which are not earmarked or directed for specific use, CTU can reopen for salaries.

The tentative agreement will run through June 2013.

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