The Columbus Education Association announced Friday afternoon that it has filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the State Employment Relations Board against the schools in the city of Columbus.
The union alleges that the district illegally reassigned educators working with Project Connect, the district’s homeless student advocacy program, and removed those employees from union status. Accordingly, the union alleges that the district violated Ohio’s revised code relating to collective bargaining and unfair labor practices.
“We believe we are within our rights to file this (charge) because we believe the District is in violation of Ohio’s Revised Code by making this decision to destabilize this particular position and essentially devalue the work of these professionals,” said CEA spokeswoman Regina Fuentes. said the Dispatch.
Gathering of CEA teachers: Teachers’ union rallies against changes to homeless student program
The school district repeats its previous response
On June 21, the teachers’ union rallied outside a city school board meeting after learning that the board would be reworking job descriptions for union members who were part of Project Connect without first discussing it with the union. .
In response to the filing of the unfair labor practice charge, Columbus City Schools on Friday referred The Dispatch to the response statement it released on June 21.
“We cherish every student who walks through our doors, no matter where they attend school or live. We want all students to succeed, and we will provide them with the tools they need to grow in the classroom and in life. All our students, including our homeless students, receive instruction from our dedicated and licensed teachers.” the statement read.
The district said it “has created new job classifications within the classified public service” — Young Academics Support Advocates and a Student Services Program Coordinator — to provide “non-teaching support to homeless students and their families”.
The district said students “will not receive lesser service than has been provided in the past.”
“We are focused on what is best for our students. The actions we take are all based on our goals and our safeguards as we move this district forward,” the district added in another email to the time.
Fuentes said that after the board formally made the decision to rework the position on July 1, that’s when the union felt it had to file the unfair labor practice complaint.
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Unfair labor practice accusation arises amid District and CEA contract negotiations
The CEA is currently in negotiations with the district on a new contract for its members to replace the current agreement which expires on August 22. ” in it.
“The district is showing it’s prepared to take these very drastic measures that are hurting not only our professionals, but also students,” Fuentes said of the Project Connect action.
“We need the district to come fairly, we need the district to come with us in the best interests of the students and stop playing these little games that they know are hurting everyone in the long run,” a- she declared.