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Columbus school board files labor complaint against teachers' union

Columbus City Schools District Office.
Nick Evans

As Columbus teachers gather to weigh the possibility of a strike, the Columbus Board of Education is lobbing accusations of misinformation.

Board President Jennifer Adair used a Wednesday press conference to announce the filing of an unfair labor complaint against the Columbus Education Association with the State Employment Relations Board.

"It is disappointing that the CEA is not fully transparent with its own members and the public, and the board strongly felt we needed to address this misinformation," Adair said at a Wednesday press conference.

The complaint alleges union leaders spread false information about the board’s contract offer as it pertains to class sizes, recruitment and retention of employees, and the condition of building HAV systems.

Union leaders have said no misinformation has been spread.

At Tuesday’s regular board meeting, Adair said the district had extended a “final contract” following 19 negotiating sessions over four months. Union president John Coneglio called the offer “take-it-or-leave-it” bargaining.

Union members meet Thursday evening and could vote to accept the latest contract offer from the school board, reject it, or give the district 10 days' notice that they plan to go on strike.

The union’s current contract expires August 21, three days before most students return to class for the first day of school.

Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and sons. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for the student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.