Submitted On: Saturday, August 27, 2016
Analyst: Holland, Robin/Columbus Area Writing Project
Teachers in Cleveland, Ohio began the 2016-2017 school year with no contract. Their last contract expired on June 30, 2016
On August 15 the executive board of the Cleveland Teachers Union (an affiliate of American Federation of Teachers) approved a strike action called for back in May by 97% of its members. The strike is set to begin September 2 if upcoming negotiations have not resolved current pay plan issues.
The dispute is over merit pay. The contract agreement passed in 2013 includes a variety of ways that raises can be earned, including: gaining special training and additional qualifications, taking preapproved courses, accepting hard-to-fill jobs or positions in less desired schools, training to be a leader or mentor, as well as considering teacher evaluations in which student test scores account for 50% of the rating. The District, however, is charged with ignoring these multiple reasons for raises outlined in the contract, and granting raised solely based on teacher evaluations.
Negotiations are more complex for the Cleveland District than other districts because of the Cleveland Plan for Transforming Schools which was signed into law in 2012. The differentiated compensation guidelines are part of this jointly approved plan, as well as the contract. Other key elements of the school improvement plan are outlined here.
Negotiations with a federal mediator are set for Monday, August 29, just days before the announced strike date.
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