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Columbus City Schools parents express frustration with school board as teachers signal intent to strike

Teachers at Columbus Education Association meeting.jpg
Columbus Education Association
The Columbus Education Association met with teachers Thursday night at the Columbus Convention Center, to review the latest contract offer from the Columbus City Schools board. Members voted unanimously to signal its intent to strike.

Columbus City Schools teachers voted unanimously at a union meeting Thursday night to issue a 10-day notice of its intent to strike. Some parents are upset with the school board’s lack of further negotiations.

Teachers expressed issues over class sizes, proper HVAC systems in school buildings, staff recruitment and retention. Anne Dison is a parent of two children attending North Linden Elementary and Maize Pre-school.

“So I am absolutely 100% want my kids to go back to school," Dison said. "But I’m also at the same point not going to go back on supporting the teachers. If we have to delay we’re gonna delay and going to support the teachers”

Jennifer Lawson is a parent of two students in the Columbus City Schools.

“I just would really like for the kids to start school when they're supposed to start and I want that to happen because the board came to the table and offered a fair contact."

In a statement, school board president Jennifer Adair expressed disappointment over the Columbus Education Association's legislative lobby voting for the strike notice rather than its latest contract offer.

"We understand that CEA also has publicly indicated a desire to continue negotiating," Adair said. "As explained in the Board’s unfair labor practice charge, we remain deeply concerned that CEA has not bargained in good faith. The Board will continue to approach these negotiations committed to a resolution and will discuss with the federal mediator what steps are most beneficial moving forward.

The union has until August 11 to decide if it will strike. Any strike could happen by August 22, the day most teachers report to classrooms.