COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Despite a 12-hour bargaining session between Columbus City Schools and the teachers union, the Columbus Education Association, a contract agreement has not been reached and a potential strike is imminent.
NBC4’s Karina Cheung has talked to several parents these last few weeks and many have been hopeful that an agreement would be reached before school. With the union’s mass meeting this Sunday, where a strike vote could take place, parents say they feel like a strike will be their reality.
“The sooner we get an answer the better,” said Julie Applegate. “I feel like I’m looking to the board of education to yield to some of these demands of the union to give us an answer.”
Applegate says if a strike would happen, her kids are staying home. She does not approve of the district’s alternative opening plan which relies heavily on remote learning.
“We did that with the pandemic because that was required and that was the only option and our teachers did an incredible job through all of that stress, but this time the circumstances are different,” she said.
Matt Monjot, who expressed concerns to the school board Tuesday, says he doesn’t expect to drop his freshman off at Whetstone High.
“Given the failure of the marathon 12-hour session that occurred yesterday, it seems unlikely,” Monjot explained.
He says if a strike does happen, he hopes it spurs action before Aug. 24 which is the first day of school.
“Who knows, maybe the board will be driven back to the table Monday or Tuesday I can only hope I’m here to raise my voice and tell them go back to the table — figure it out,” Monjot said.
Applegate says she’s had to make tough decisions and have tough talks with her kids.
“I’m planning that our kids will not be going to school Wednesday of next week because that’s so much of a possibility and it has such deep ramifications, that I have to plan that they don’t go,” she said.
One parent raised concerns off camera about a potential strike specifically for her child who will need an individualized educational plan and therapies for a disability. She says a strike would hurt her family.
The current contract between CCS and CEA expires this Sunday — that’s the same day the union will meet and possibly declare a strike.