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Euclid Teachers’ Association gives 10-day strike notice as contract negotiations continue

Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 8:44 AM EST
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EUCLID, Ohio (WOIO) - The Euclid Teachers’ Association is potentially nearing a strike.

On Thursday, the union gave Euclid City School District their 10-day strike notice after 26 hours of failed negotiations.

According to a news release, contract negotiations have continued for nearly a year, and teachers have worked without a contract for 130 days.

Negotiations will start again on Jan. 26, just four days before the union could vote to strike.

If a strike begins, it would last until a contract agreement is reached, according to the release.

Josh Stephens, the Euclid Teachers’ Association spokesperson, released this statement to 19 News about the ongoing conflict:

“Euclid teachers have long been a primary stabilizing force in the lives of our students. Euclid teachers have filled the gaps when the district has failed to provide students with fundamentals such as transportation, adequate building security, and extracurricular learning and growth opportunities. We have done so out of our deep professional commitment to the improvement of the children of Euclid. But now we have been denied a contract which would have allowed us to provide the children of this community the education they deserve. And, for that reason, I will proudly walk the line until this Board comes to its senses.”

The Euclid Board of Education shared the following statement, which said, in part:

“We are disappointed that the Euclid Teachers Association (ETA) has decided to issue a 10-day notice of its intent to strike. This only redoubles our commitment to continue bargaining in good faith to reach a contract settlement that is fair and equitable for all parties. Our number one priority remains our students. The Board is seeking changes that promote student success. The Union is fighting to keep contract language dating from the 1950′s in place, even though changes in education over the past seven decades necessitate modernizing our contract to better ensure student success as they prepare to enter today’s world, not that of our grandparents.

Since we began negotiations, we have offered our teachers one of the biggest salary increases and largest financial packages among any school district in Ohio. We have done this in an effort to take care of our teachers and provide economic stability in this unprecedented pandemic-driven environment. Inexplicably, this is still a point of contention with the ETA. With this substantial wage increase, Euclid teachers’ salary will be competitive with districts in Northeast Ohio and across the state.

In addition, the ETA wrongly states that the board of education ‘seeks the power to arbitrarily reassign teachers to different classrooms or different teaching assignments at any point in the school year for any reason.’ In fact, we are talking about the ability of a principal to assign a small portion of high school teachers within their building – fewer than 20 teachers out of teaching staff of 120 – to courses within the department they currently teach in a collaborative process taking into consideration teachers’ preferences, rather than the union’s unilateral control over all course assignments. This suggested language supports the district’s broader goal of improving student outcomes while honoring teacher choice. For example, a teacher hired to teach Social Studies may be assigned to teach American History instead of Government after a teacher-principal collaborative process.”

Sabrina Schill is the parent of a 17-year-old who goes to school there.

“For a parent of a special needs child, where schooling is extra important for them to get therapies and such, it makes me very nervous,” she said.

Ms. Linda is a grandmother and agrees with Stephens, the union spokesperson.

“Those are great demands, so they don’t just sit around and do nothing. And so they don’t get used to not learning,” she said.

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