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Columbus School Board Preps For Possible Teachers' Strike

Columbus City Schools District Office.
Nick Evans
Columbus City Schools District Office.

The Columbus Board of Education is taking steps to prepare for a possible teachers’ strike this summer.

At their Tuesday meeting, board members approved a resolution to have Superintedent Talisa Dixon “seek out and recommend professional assistance for strike contingency planning services.”

“The Board asked for the recommendation of a professional service contract - which would cover such things as alternative staffing, strike coordination and ongoing school day operations,” a district press release says.

The Tuesday vote follows last week’s vote by the teachers’ union, the Columbus Education Association, to give negotiators permission to issue a 10-day strike notice if necessary.

"We will continue, as we have, to bargain in good faith and responsibly with the CEA leadership, but we also will carry out our responsibilities of ensuring we educate our children, and that means we must be prepared if CEA chooses to make good on its summer meeting for the purpose of issuing a 10-day strike notice. Therefore, I will support this resolution," board member Eric Brown said at the Tuesday meeting.

Columbus Education Association President, John Coneglio says the union still hopes for an agreement to spend more resources for smaller classes, social workers, counselors, nurses and adequate buildings.

"Instead of spending public tax dollars to hire scab workers and shady strike breaking firms, meet us at the bargaining table prepared to collaborate with CEA," says Coneglio.

The current contract for teachers expires in August, the day before school year begins. Teachers and school administrators have been at odds over issues including teachers pay, classroom size, and property tax abatements given to developers.

The next negotiation meeting is set for June 20th.