UNITED STATES: Just a few days before the commencement of the new school year, teachers in Ohio’s largest school district decided to strike over smaller class sizes and building safety demands after bargaining negotiations with the school board stalled.
It will be the first strike in many years, according to the Columbus Education Association, a union that represents over 4,000 teachers, nurses, and other education professionals in the Columbus City Schools district.
The Columbus Education Association (CEA) released a statement on Twitter stating that, “94% of CEA members decided to reject the (school) Board’s last, best and last offer and go on strike for the first time since 1975.”
The Columbus Education Association (CEA) is devoted to negotiating for the welcoming, well-maintained, and resource-rich public schools that Columbus students deserve.
However, the union said the school board walked away from the bargaining table July 28, refusing to agree to language in the contract that would “guarantee Columbus students basics such as air conditioning, appropriate class sizes and art, music and P.E. primary school teachers.”
The decision of the vote was deemed “disappointing” by the Columbus Board of Education.
The Columbus Education Association, the teachers’ union, said in a statement on its website that its educators and school communities are “on strike for our students” two days before the new school year is scheduled to begin. The union voted to strike on Sunday and said it would be on strike starting at 7am on Monday.
“The Columbus Education Association’s (CEA) vote tonight is tremendously disheartening. We regret the tragic circumstances that now confront our family, our neighbourhood, and, most especially, our children,” according to a board statement.
As per the president of the board of education at Columbus City Schools,47,000 kids are enrolled in Columbus City Schools. The school year will still start on Wednesday despite the strike, but classes will be taught online and by substitutes, according to the school district’s website.
Several other strikes are going on this week in addition to the one at Columbus City Schools. A union representing around 2,000 School District of Philadelphia employees voted to authorise a strike just one day before the Ohio vote, just over a week before classes are scheduled to begin.