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Teachers picket outside Columbus school buildings on first day of strike

The Columbus Education Association said its members and supporters plan to picket outside 20 different schools across the city.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Teachers and other union members are picketing outside of Columbus school buildings Monday after voting to go on strike.

The Columbus Education Association's (CEA) rejected the Columbus Board of Education's final offer during a union meeting Sunday night ahead of the strike deadline.

Hundreds of union members gathered outside of school early Monday morning outside of school buildings across the city. CEA said its members and supporters plan to picket outside 20 different schools each weekday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until a deal is reached.

RELATED: What you need to know about the Columbus teachers' strike, district's remote learning plans

In a press briefing held Monday, Columbus Board of Education President Jennifer Adair called the decision by the teachers’ to strike “disappointing.

Adair said that the board's final offer to the CEA provided an increase in pay and benefits and also addressed the concerns teachers brought to them.

CEA’s spokesperson Regina Fuentes said during their press briefing Monday that they plan to strike until the board offers “safe, properly maintained, and fully resourced schools in every neighborhood.”

10 investigates' reporting earlier this month uncovered the ongoing issues like missing or leaking ceilings and lead-based paint that chips or peels.

Fuentes said the union wants the district to commit to fixing conditions inside the schools and do so by including language in the new contract that would ensure those issues are addressed.

Adair said that the school board plans to address conditions within the school but that those things don’t belong in a teacher contract.

Both sides said they are still willing to negotiate but continue to blame the other side for walking away. 

The school board announced that it will hold an emergency meeting Monday evening for further discussions. While no new talks have been scheduled between the two groups, CEA plans to hold a rally at 7 p.m. outside of the Southland Center where the board will meet.

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