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Following the Cleveland Board of Education’s vote last Thursday to accept a plan recommended by a State Fact-Finder, CEO Eric Gordon said school officials are deeply disappointed to learn that the Cleveland Teacher’s Union voted to reject the independent Fact-Finder’s decision.

The Fact-Finder recommended elimination of six paid holidays for teachers, three voluntary but paid professional days and three mandatory professional development days from the teacher’s contract. If approved by both sides, the agreement would have contributed $13.5 million toward the district’s $66 million dollar deficit.

Cuts in salary and benefits for at-will employees and eight other labor unions the last two years helped trim the deficit, but the largest percentage of the district’s operating costs are concentrated in its teaching ranks, Gordon said.

“Difficult economic times require not just some, but all of us to do our part to meet today’s fiscal challenges, especially when our business is the education of children,” said Gordon. “The next seven weeks will be critical. If we don’t agree on concessions, we have no choice but to consider further cuts in staff and programs—an action many have worked very hard to avoid to keep cuts from affecting students.”

Concessions made by CMSD’s at-will staff and the eight other labor unions included permanent cuts in pay and benefits over the last two years totaling between 5.6% and 6% for all employees but staff represented by the Cleveland Teachers Union. CTU staff comprise 74% of the district’s personnel costs.

The teachers union’s previous reductions in pay were temporary give-backs, Gordon said, a concession that provided only a short-term fix for the district’s compounding deficit.

“The district intends to immediately resume negotiations with the Cleveland Teachers Union, with the goal of resolving our budget challenges without further impacting kids and families,” he said.

Click here to read the CMSD labor negotiation’s fact sheet.


Article Courtesy of WOIO 19 Action News


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