COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — After a 12-hour negotiating session, no deal has been reached between Columbus City Schools and the Columbus Education Association.
CEA announced its bargaining team had been preparing to continue negotiating into the night, when the CCS attorney informed the union it was getting another final offer.
“Their second final offer is substantially unchanged from their last final on major issues — including no contractual guarantees on HVAC or building conditions,” CEA wrote on Twitter. “There are only five days before students are supposed to report to classrooms, and the school board has abandoned the bargaining process for a second time.”
CCS President Jennifer Adair said in a statement that the Board presented its “last, best and final offer for CEA to consider.”
“The offer is strong; it is responsive to the concerns that have been raised; and it reflects how vital our teachers and certificated staff members are to our district,” the statement said.
The Board is asking CEA to present the offer fully to its members and give them an opportunity to vote on it on Aug. 21. The current teacher’s contract expires on Aug. 21, while teachers are scheduled to return to their schools on Aug. 22. Students’ first day of school is Aug. 24.
Adair said the final offer includes the following additions:
- Increased staffing in areas such as school nurses, psychologists and speech language pathologists.
- Giving teachers additional planning days in the 2024 and 2025 school years.
- A commitment to have CEA at the table to address equity-based staffing.
CCS and the CEA have been at odds over a new contract for weeks, and the union has taken steps to prepare for a potential strike. If there would be a strike, the district had already said it plans to open the school year with remote learning.
“Our offer is responsive to our teachers’ commitment to their students and their success,” said Adair. “That is one area that we agree on. Simply put, Columbus City Schools students deserve the best. And that’s what we strive to provide them by keeping student outcomes at the heart of our work.”
View the entire CSS back-to-school plan if CEA goes on strike here.