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Negotiations Update - 8.31.16

Dear Colleagues,

As published last week our negotiations for a successor contract has stalled until after the levy.  We continue to work under the old contract until such time as we ratify something new.  Base salary, benefits, and working conditions have not changed.  So, it is kind of like being in a black hole, not knowing which direction we will end up moving.  The only thing for certain is that there is uncertainty.  Over the next few weeks I plan on sharing what I can about negotiations; where we agree, where we disagree, and where we are headed.

It is possible that regardless of the levy’s outcome that we will still not be able to recommend an offer from the Board.  I can make three suggestions:

1)  You might consider putting some money aside in case we are not able come to a settlement and the membership authorizes a strike.  Certainly this is worst scenario thinking, but we live in uncertain times and being prepared for the worst allows us to breathe more easily if things go smoothly.

2)  Get involved with the levy efforts NOW. We have two months to convince community members who are undecided to vote yes on November 8.  Your voice makes a difference.  Who you talk to, what you say, and the message you convey about the need for additional funding makes a difference.  The page has suggestions about ways to get involved.  Some actions are as simple as liking and sharing good news about our schools with friends on facebook.  There are many campaign activities available to you; lit drops, fundraisers, canvassing, door knocking, etc.  Passing the levy will take a little pressure off when we return to the bargaining table, even though there are issues in contention that do not include money.

3)  Make sure you are registered to vote.  If not, register, then vote, especially if you live in the district, but even if you don’t.  There are many races out there that have a huge impact on our work lives.  We all need to be engaged in the political process.

Yesterday, our brothers and sisters in the Cleveland Teachers Union came to a tentative agreement after almost a year at the bargaining table.  Many of their issues are the same as ours.  Cleveland Teachers were ready to strike on Friday.  I am relieved they have come away from the table with something they can recommend to their membership, but they were ready.  I only hope that we can do the same before too long.

In Solidarity,

Ari Klein
CHTU President

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