COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Columbus City Schools and its teacher’s union are poised to adopt a new labor contract in the coming days.
After nearly 14 hours of negotiating, the Board of Education and Columbus Education Association reached a preliminary agreement in the early hours of Thursday, ending a three-day strike that culminated from 23 unsuccessful bargaining sessions over five months.
Now, both sides must reconvene to give the contract their final stamps of approval.
“While the details cannot yet be disclosed, the contract recognizes the board’s commitment to improving our student outcomes, the essential work of the CEA members, and strengthening our learning environments,” Board President Jennifer Adair said Thursday.
Board to review contract
The board plans to meet Downtown at the Columbus Education Center at 5 p.m. on Friday.
The seven-member board will convene for an executive session, which is not open to the public, “to prepare for, conduct or review negotiations or bargaining sessions with public employees concerning their compensation or other terms and conditions of their employment.”
Union to vote on contract
Union members will meet at 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Huntington Park to vote on the contract.
Spokesperson Regina Fuentes said Thursday it is likely that she and other CEA members will approve the contract, expressing confidence in the bargaining team.
“We have complete trust in our bargaining team. They have been excellent, they have really put in the hours and the time,” she said. “If they say we’ve come to an agreement, then we’re gonna take what they say.”
Board members have said they will make comments Sunday night after the union meeting.
Board to vote on contract
Finally, board members will hold a special meeting at the Southland Center at 8 a.m. Monday on ratifying the contract.
If ratified, the contract will be adopted and in place for three years.
“We recognize the sacrifices students, parents, and teachers alike have made during the last three days as we fought for the schools Columbus students deserve,” Fuentes said. “Let the history books reflect that this strike was about students who deserved a commitment to modern schools with heating and air conditioning, smaller class sizes, and a well-rounded curriculum that includes art, music and P.E.”