Summit Academy Parma Teachers Union Sets February 19 Strike Date
UPDATE: During Summit Academy’s Board of Directors meeting Tuesday night, the charter school’s teachers union announced it would strike on February 19, if a contract cannot be reached.
Both the union and Summit Academy Management agreed to resume negotiations on Friday.
Teachers at Summit Academy in Parma plan to announce a strike date at the board of directors meeting Tuesday evening.
This is the first contract negotiation since the charter school's 24 teachers unionized in May. They have four key priorities including smaller caseloads and class sizes and a pay increase.
Ohio Federation of Teachers President Melissa Cropper says the Summit Academy teachers also want better working conditions.
"They recently suffered a scabies outbreak in the school," said Cropper. "Teachers are being asked to leave classes or take time away from teaching responsibilities to do what we considered custodial duties around the school, and we feel like that is taking away from the time teachers need to prepare for students."
The union authorized a strike last month. In a written statement, Summit Academy Management expressed disappointment in the vote.
"Our team is waiting to hear from the union to schedule additional discussions," the statement reads, "and we remain hopeful that those discussions will reach a workable solution for both parties without threatening the operation of the school and focus on the students their members signed contracts to serve."
On the school's website, management said it can't accommodate the teachers' proposal for a four percent salary increase but did recently give union members bonuses totaling $16,250.
They are also willing to compensate teachers when they are unable to take a lunch break.
Both sides have stated they want to continue negotiations but no date has been set.