EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) — An agreement on a new contract still hasn’t been reached between East Liverpool Schools and the teachers union.
The last contract expired in August.
The school board held a special meeting Sunday to discuss plans if teachers do go on strike.
Hundreds of people supporting East Liverpool teachers as well as the union came out for a special board meeting on a Sunday night, even though they weren’t allowed inside where that meeting was being held because it was a closed session.
Outside Westgate Middle School, a crowd held signs near the street showing support for teachers.
The meeting on Sunday was for board members to prepare for the worst after the union unanimously voted no on a contract the district calls its last best offer.
“There’s always a concern that they may decide to go on strike and that would leave us without teachers. Therefore, we have to make plans to make sure we have teachers in place so that the kids continue their education,” said Bob Estell, East Liverpool school board vice president.
Last week the union authorized the option to strike, as long as a notice is given to the public at least 10 days before.
Union representative Trisha Hutton says the negotiations aren’t going the way they should be.
“We were never able to give a counter proposal. We were never able to present anything that we have, and to the members, that’s not negotiating, that’s not bargaining, that’s more dictating,” said Trisha Hutton, ELEA Union Spokesman.
Both parties are not allowed to go into details of the contract while negotiations are happening.
If the teachers go on strike — the district discussed bringing in substitute teachers to continue providing an education for students.
“This is a very tough time of the year, because number one, we have our state testing, we have graduation, we have all those end of school year type of things that we need to keep going,” said Estell.
“For certainly messes up the entire situation for the students. That’s not our intention at all. Our intention is lets go back to the board, let go negotiate, lets go back to the bargaining table, let’s do the process of negotiating like it’s supposed to be done,” said Hutton.
On Monday during a school board meeting, the district will vote on implementing that last best offer which is something the teachers do not want.