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Despite 'No Confidence' Vote, Teachers Union Will Work With Same School Board

Columbus Board of Education

After voting "no confidence" in Columbus’ school board in September, the city's teachers union will continue working with that exact same board after every incumbent was re-elected in Tuesday’s election. 

Tracey Johnson, president of the Columbus Education Association, says she’s not surprised.

“CEA took no position on any of the candidates," Johnson says. "We did not endorse any of the incumbents and we did not endorse the Yes We Can candidates, so it was kind of up in the air as to what the community wanted.”  

Democrats Michael Cole, Ramona Reyes and Dominic Paretti won reelection over challengers Erin Upchurch, Abby Vaile and Amy Harkins, who came from the progressive Yes We Can coalition.

The union's no-confidence vote was a rebuke of contract negotiations with the Columbus School Board. Johnson says teachers were disappointed with the school board’s perspective.

“They felt as if the Columbus Board of Education did not value the work that they did," Johnson says. "Not only when it came to salary, but also didn’t value the time that the members put in, day in, day out, to make sure that the students had what they need.”

That said, Johnson’s not particularly worried about working with the board in the future.

“I’ve had some preliminary conversations with a few of the board members, and so I’m hoping that we can move forward in a more positive and productive way," Johnson said.

Clare Roth was former All Things Considered Host for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU in February of 2017. After attending the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, she returned to her native Iowa as a producer for Iowa Public Radio.