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Columbus Teachers Union Reaches 'Conceptual Agreement' With School District

CEA President John Coneglio addressing union members ahead of Tuesday's school board meeting.
Nick Evans
/
WOSU
CEA President John Coneglio addressing union members ahead of Tuesday's school board meeting.

After 17 hours of negotations, the Columbus teachers union said Friday morning that they reached a “comprehensive conceptual agreement” over a new contract with Columbus City Schools.

Columbus Education Association president John Coneglio announced the development in a Facebook video posted just before 2 a.m. Details about the agreement have yet to be released.

The district's contract with CEA expires August 18, the day before teachers are scheduled to report to work for the 2019-2020 school year.

As discussions began, union members voted to give negotiators permission to issue a 10-day strike notice. The district responded by approving a $5,000-a-day contract with an alternative staffing firm in case of a teacher strike.

At the center of the contract fight were issues of teacher pay, classroom size, and property tax abatements for developers. The school district’s primary source of funding comes from property taxes, and union leaders are critical of how Columbus gives tax breaks in exchange for new development. The union also demanded alternate programs for discipline and dedicated spaces for art and music.

CEA represents 4,300 public school teachers and other educators in the city.