Cleveland Metropolitan School District Cleveland teachers union reach tentative agreement

CEO Eric S. Gordon and CTU President David Quolke announce that the Cleveland Teachers Union and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District have reached a Tentative Agreement.

Representatives of both sides of the bargaining talks say the agreement will help transform Cleveland's schools and will build on a culture of collaboration that began last year when CTU and CMSD worked together toward passage of the Cleveland Plan.

"This ground-breaking agreement paves the way for shared ownership in building a high-quality education system," said Quolke. "The new agreement also rewards and recognizes the hard work teachers do by aligning teacher compensation with components and practices needed to improve teaching and learning."

The tentative agreement, came after months of contract talks using Interest Based Bargaining and the assistance of Fact Finder, Mollie Bowers in moving toward what both Quolke and Gordon say was a mutual agreement to reach a negotiated settlement prior to the end of the 2012-2013 school year.

"The process and the outcome of the talks are a testament to the culture change that is already taking place in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District," said Gordon. "When teachers and administrators share the same values, talk first of what's best for children and speak with one voice, our common goal to provide a quality education for every child is attainable."

Quolke credits Interest Base Bargaining process for the ability of both sides to work together to create real solutions to long-standing problems and to ensure that collaboration triumphed over confrontation when debating how best to benefit the students they serve.

"This was a difficult negotiation considering the breadth of the issues and the changes that were mandated as a result of HB 525," said Quolke. "There are significant changes in how we operate and that there is much for my members to examine, but I am fully confident that this agreement is good for kids and fair for educators. Most importantly, it holds the promise of helping students in Cleveland succeed."

As part of the process, members of the Cleveland Teachers Union and the Board of Education will separately review the agreement this week, with CTU voting on the tentative agreement between May 28 and May 31. The Board of Education will vote on the agreement on May 14.

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