Campbell teachers to strike Aug. 26

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The Campbell Education Association, which represents approximately 93 teachers in the Campbell City School District, sent a 10-day strike notice to the State Employment Relations Board, stating their intent to strike on Aug. 26.

Union representative Lisa Steigerwald-Kana said the union decided to send the strike notice because the Board of Education has not rescinded its “last, best” contract offer, which was imposed on the union July 1.

“If the Campbell teachers return to work on Aug. 26, it would be under unacceptable conditions that were imposed  by the school board and their bargaining team,” Steigerwald-Kana said in a news release.

Union spokeswoman Colleen Joss said she learned Friday afternoon that the Board of Education has contacted the federal mediator and a bargaining session is set for late Tuesday. She also said the 10-day strike notice is still in effect despite the planned negotiating session.

Campbell Superintendent Thomas Robey said earlier this week that the district received a letter from the Ohio Department of Education dated June 25 that said the district would have a deficit balance in fiscal year 2014. He said because of that letter, the board believed further discussions on the remaining issues would not be productive and could jeopardize the district’s financial stability.

Negotiations began March 18 and an impasse was declared by both sides on May 6. The teachers’ contract expired July 1 and after two meetings in June with a federal mediator, the board imposed its last, best offer on the CEA.

According to a flier passed out by the union at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting, Robey negotiated the last two-year teachers’ contract in which teachers took a wage freeze and increased their health care and retirement contributions to save the district money. However, the union claims Robey then allocated a two-step increase on the pay scale for school administrators.

The union also claims the district is paying two superintendents because Robey guided the district to hire a superintendent for the 2013-14 school year even though his contract does not expire until July 2014. They claim he is asking the board to waive his superintendent contract and instead hire him as a “consultant” through December.

The Board of Education is holding a special meeting July 29 to discuss the superintendent’s contract.

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