Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools moving forward despite teacher strike

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GAHANNA, Ohio (WCMH) — Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools released a statement saying it will move forward with training teachers who have chosen to continue working, as well as substitute teachers from the Educational Service Center (ESC) of Central Ohio.

This statement comes on the third day of the teacher union strike at Gahanna-Jefferson.

The GJPS district says it is filing two unfair labor practices with the State Employment Relations Board related to the conduct of the teachers union.

There is no mediation scheduled after the sides met Wednesday until 10 p.m. Gahanna-Jefferson Education Association spokesperson Betsy Baker says the union sent back a proposal at 11 p.m.

“The next time we come back, will there be a counter proposal? Can we talk about some things that still need agreed on in that proposal?” Baker said. “Knowing that steps are being made, that we’re coming closer to that agreement, it’s exciting. You know it’s hopeful.”

One of the concerns for teachers during the strike is a lack of healthcare, especially during this pandemic, with the coronavirus spreading rapidly throughout Ohio.

The GJPS district said employees were notified, in advance of the strike, that their benefits would end, as required by Ohio law, effective on the first day of the strike.

The school district added it is communicating with its employees about their COBRA continuation coverage.

Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools’ district bargaining team continues to negotiate in good faith and to offer compromise proposals that bring our teachers back to the classroom and get our students into school. There has been progress in some areas, and for that we are hopeful, however, we remain without a resolution.

Even within these unfortunate consequences of the strike, we remain committed to reaching an agreement with our teachers that provides equitable learning opportunities for all students, workable solutions and support for our teachers, and a path forward for our school community.

Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools statement

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