Executive Board Update 1/19/2022

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Dear Colleagues,

Tomorrow is our January Executive Board Meeting.  The meeting will be held through zoom and will begin at 4:30.  We hope to see many of you there to listen in on the discussion.  Below are the committee reports and some other important information.


In Union,

Karen Rego

CHTU President



ARC (Appraisal Review Committee):   The next meeting is scheduled for February 2. 

ER&D:  This spring ER&D will be offered remotely for Managing Behavior in Schools.  There are other courses offered this summer. Please use this google doc for more information.

DISCIPLINE (SCOC):   The next meeting has yet to be scheduled.  The new “District Safe Schools Advisory” Committee is scheduled to meet monthly.  The next meeting is scheduled for January 25.

PTA: President Rego met with the high school PTA on Monday, January 10.  We discussed our relationship with the administration leading into negotiations.  

INSURANCE:  FSA’s were not updated properly.  You will need to check your FSA accounts to make sure your account has been updated accurately with the new deductions. If there is still an account error please contact Denise Toney to correct this problem.  Please cc Vice President Underhile on the email.

MOBILIZATION: Earlier this year Angelique Troy, Art Teacher at Monticello Middle School, designed a new logo for the Cleveland Heights Teachers Union.  We are having a new logo apparel sale.  If you would like to purchase a new apparel item, please fill out this google form.  The sale will be open until Friday, January 28, 2022, at 3 pm. All apparel is union-made in the USA.  As we do not know how many of each item will be ordered, the current prices are close estimates.  Once orders close, those who have placed orders will be sent invoices.  All payments must be made by cash or check. Please email Tiffiny Underhile at tunderhile@chtu.org if you have any questions.

OFT (Ohio Federation of Teachers) - The OFT Convention will be held  February 24 - 26 in Columbus.  The Executive Board approved the following  14 members   to represent CHTU:
Delegates: Karen Rego (Monticello), Tiffiny Underhile (TVA), Jennifer Bennett (BOE), Tamar Gray (Boulevard/Fairfax), Carolyn Pavel (High School), Debbie Frost (Monticello), Tina Reynolds (Boulevard), Darrell Lausche (Gearity), Josephine Shelton-Townes (Rox. Middle, Options)
Alternates: Wendy Ward Price (Rox Middle), Karen Hodson (Oxford), Nadine Davis (Canterbury), Greg Nachman (HighSchool), Mark Mrazek (High School)

Salary Committee: The salary committee convened on Wednesday, January 5.  Dr. Lombardo, Mr. Gainer, President Rego,  and Vice President Underhile met to discuss potential changes to the structure of the salary schedule.  This meeting is required contractually and usually takes place just prior negotiations. No proposed changes to our salary schedule were mutually agreed upon.  

STRS News: Julie Sellers, President of Cincinnati Federation of Teachers, is running for an open seat on the STRS Board.  It is very important that OFT be represented at STRS .  Julie’s petitions will be circulating in your buildings. Please be sure to sign.  The election will take place in the spring.

SUMMIT:  -  January Summit is scheduled for Friday, January 21.  

Grievances and Unfair Labor Practices 

 A step 2 grievance hearing was held on July 13, 2021, regarding a member who was issued a suspension for failing to appear for work virtually.  We received an unfavorable response. and filed for a Step 3 mediation on August 25, 2021.  Mediation was held on Wednesday, January 12. Our member was satisfied with the agreement that was reached in mediation.

A step 2 class grievance was filed on September 21, 2021, due to the Board’s ongoing failure to provide substitutes.  President Rego and 1st Vice President Underhile met with Dr. Lombardo on October 12.  The grievance was denied on October 26.  A mediation was scheduled for December 8 but was canceled by our mediator.  President Rego and Vice President Underhile met with Dr. Lombardo for a Step 2 Grievance Extension in an effort to resolve the matter.  We discussed the LOU that was originally sent by our office, and came to a tentative agreement.  We finalized this LOU which resulted in:  an increase in pay for our members whale substituting, allowed ancillaries to sub with valid sub-license, and increased pay for day-to-day subs.


b) A member was called into a fact-finding on December 13, 2021, for alleged inappropriate, or abusive conduct, inadequate preparation for employee job responsibilities, and inadequate supervision of students.  We are waiting for a disposition.  The member was placed on paid administrative leave. We have consulted with our legal counsel on this matter.


Coalition Report:
On January 4, 2022 a coalition of 100 school districts known as “Vouchers Hurt Ohio,” filed suit challenging the constitutionality of Ohio’s EdChoice vouchers that use public funds to pay for private school tuition. LINK HERE TO READ THE CASE. 

School district leaders from four of the plaintiff districts will discuss the litigation during an online forum on February 23 at 7:00 PM. LINK HERE TO REGISTER

This is an opportunity for the public to learn more about the impact of vouchers on public school funding, the plaintiff’s motivation for filing suit, the substance of their claims, the desired relief, and next steps for concerned citizens.

Vouchers Hurt Ohio joined with the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding to bring the lawsuit. The five lead plaintiff districts are Cleveland Heights-University Heights, Richmond Heights, Columbus, Barberton, and Lima.

The forum is sponsored by the Heights Coalition for Public Education, CH-UH and Richmond Heights Board of Education, Ohio PTA and CH-UH Council of PTAs, Reaching Heights, League of Women Voters Greater Cleveland and CH-UH Chapter, Public Education Partners, Ohio Public School Advocacy Network, Northeast Ohio AFT Retired Teachers, and Northeast Ohio Friends of Public Education.

Registration for the forum is required. Visit the Heights Coalition for Public Education website at https://chuh.net/coalition/lawsuit to register and for more information about the forum.