Reynoldsburg Teachers Vote to Authorize Strike

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UPDATED: Sunday August 10, 2014 11:39 PM

As students in Reynoldsburg prepare to head back to class this week, teachers are making plans for a possible strike.

The Reynoldsburg Teachers Union voted to authorize a strike, unless the teachers and the school board can come to a contract agreement.

Kevin McKeown said he is making the most of the summer he has left with his boys.

In three days, his oldest heads back to class at Summit Road Elementary in Reynoldsburg

The father chose the school for his son, but now doubts the decision.

"With contract negotiations going the way they are and so many teachers leaving this summer, it makes us really iffy what the future is of Reynoldsburg schools," McKeown said.

Kathy Evans is with the Reynoldsburg teacher's union. She said teachers are leaving in droves because the school board won't agree to a fair contract. 

"What it really comes down to is we want to see an improvement in student learning conditions and teacher working conditions," Evans said.

Evans said the union supports a cap on class size, the board opposes the cap, but Reynoldsburg Schools Spokesperson Tricia Moore said limiting class size is a priority.

"The current language stipulates that we will make our best effort to have all classes K-12 to one to 25," Moore said.

The teachers union also has a problem with the district's proposed compensation package, specifically, this section having to do with merit pay. Evans said merit pay puts too much of an emphasis on high stakes testing.

"The raises in the bonuses aren't tied to test per se but tied to the evaluation of the teacher," Moore said.

If the two sides can't reach an agreement, the teachers union is ready to strike, but that doesn't mean a strike will happen.

The union and the school board are working with a federal mediator, but at this time, they haven't set another meeting date.

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