‘Conceptual agreement’ reached in Columbus teachers strike
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The school board and union representing teachers and other employees in Ohio’s largest school district early Thursday reached a “conceptual agreement,” tentatively ending a strike which began Monday.
The Columbus Board of Education and the Columbus Education Association did not disclose terms of the deal.
The district’s 47,000 students, who began the school year remotely on Wednesday, will continue with virtual learning for the rest of the week.
“This deal would not have been possible without the unwavering support of parents, community members, organized labor, and local businesses in Columbus,” the union said in a statement.
Nearly 4,500 teachers, librarians, nurses, counselors, psychologists and other education professionals will meet on the weekend to vote on the new contract. The school board is scheduled to vote on the agreement following the union’s ratification and in-school classes would resume Monday, both sides said.
“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,” the school board said in a statement.
The union said more than 94% of its members voted to reject the school board’s final offer late Sunday and members took to picket lines for the first time since 1975.
The union pressed for safer buildings, better heating and air conditioning, smaller class sizes, and a more well-rounded curriculum that includes art, music and physical education. The school board said its offer put children first.