Union approves strike notice

Campbell Memorial High School

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Campbell City Schools teachers unanimously voted Wednesday to approve an intent to strike notice.

The 93-member Canfield Education Association union, who held the closed-doors vote early Wednesday at St. John’s the Baptist Orthodox Church, has not yet said when it will deliver the notice to the state.

“The CEA voted unanimously to authorize the bargaining unit for the CEA to issue a 10-day strike notice whenever they deem it necessary,” said CEA spokesperson Colleen Joss.

The teachers’ contracts expired July 1.

Negotiations between the union and school board began March 18 and broke down May 6, when an impasse was declared. The two sides met with a federal mediator and the union rejected the board’s last, best offer.

Future meetings will be set by the federal mediator.

The district is expected to have a deficit balance for the 2014 fiscal year. Campbell City Schools Superintendent Thomas Robey has said they believe that will affect their negotiations with teachers.

“The board felt that we were at an ultimate impasse. We had no place else to go,” Robey. “Because are finances were such, we didn’t have any more to give.”

Teachers agreed in their contract two years ago to a wage freeze and increased contributions to their health care and retirement.

However, the union claims Robey then allocated a two-step increase on the pay scale for school administrators.

“At this point our contract was implemented by them, so unless they decide to rescind that contract we are still implemented on, which is why we need them to renegotiate,” Joss said.

Robey said the school board is willing to meet with the CEA to resolve the issue. He said the last thing anyone wants is a strike.

“That would be the last thing that would be of benefit to this school district and community,” Robey said.

 

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