Editor's note: This story has been updated with comments from the Brecksville-Broadview Heights Education Association.
The Brecksville-Broadview Heights Board of Education has declared an impasse in the contract negotiations with teachers and staff and will turn the negotiations over to a federal mediator, according to a press release from the board.
The contracts for the teachers and staff unions expire on June 30. According to the release, all July negotiations sessions have now been cancelled so that the mediator’s schedule can be accommodated. The full release can be found on the school board's Negotiation News website.
The negotiations have been the subject of much controversy in the past few months. The board decided early on to make , publishing the contract proposals from both sides, and to display their displeasure with the process.
In the release, Board President David Tryon said that the board is disappointed, but that they need to make progress toward a resolution.
Updated, 10 a.m.
Crisis chair Ben Lesh said the association is "extraordinarily disappointed" in the board's decision and that handing the negotiations over to a federal mediator has not happened while he has been with the district. Lesh added that mediators have been used to work out smaller sections of contracts.
This round of negotiations has been unpredictable since the start, beginning with the launch of the board's website. The association thought that could be a violation of the expectation to negotiate in good faith.
"They're making up the rules as they go along," Lesh said.
Lesh said he hopes the process will move along quickly now, and that he has faith in the negotiations process.
Editor's note: Lesh's statement on whether there has been use of a federal mediator in the recent past has been clarified.
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