The Teacher Union’s Take on Contract Negotiations
What other questions would you like to see answered about the negotiations? Leave them in the comments.
The Brecksville-Broadview Heights Education Association and the Board of Education are currently in the midst of negotiating the union’s next contract. The contract runs out at the end of June.
A number of teachers and staff members showed up to the last school board meeting to let the district know that they have some concerns about the board’s proposal. The school board has published both proposals in an effort to be more transparent, an uncommon choice that has made the conversation a bit more public than normal.
We emailed the crisis chair of the union, Ben Lesh, a few questions about the negotiations. His answers are as follows:
Brecksville Patch: What is the most important issue for the BEA in this round of contract negotiations?
Ben Lesh: Reaching a fair and equitable agreement for members while maintaining the caliber of education the community expects.
Patch: What most concerns the BEA about the school board's contract proposal?
Lesh: The removal of sound, research-based, and carefully crafted language in the contract that benefits students educationally and allows teachers to do their jobs effectively.
Patch: What is the biggest change from the current contract in the school board's contract proposal?
Lesh: The attempt to remove the force of language which has allowed us to excel in favor of language that would allow the district to move to minimum standards through vague, minimalistic language.
Patch: What is the biggest change from the current contract in the BEA's contract proposal?
Lesh: The addition of clarifying language that benefits students and staff, enabling the maintenance of the excellent education in the communities.
Patch: What change would the BEA most like to see in the new contract?
Lesh: We don't think that "change" is the right word. We would like to see a maintenance and clarification of the language that allows us to deliver the services and quality that our communities demand of us.
The same questions were sent to the school board, but President David Tryon said the board was unable to provide any answers.
Editor's note: According to a press release from the board president, some bargaining sessions have had to be rescheduled because a labor relations consultant for the Ohio Education Association has been reassigned.