SWCS teachers try to move contract talks along

Members of the South-Western Education Association (SWEA) were on hand to deliver a big message at the Oct. 8 South-Western City Schools Board of Education meeting.

Approximately 900 letters from certificated SWEA members were presented to all seven members of the board asking for an equitable agreement for the stalled contract negotiations.

"The teachers and certificated staff of the South-Western City Schools have made great sacrifices both economically as well as in the class for this district in past contracts," said Kevin Langen, co-chairman of the SWEA negotiation support team.

After nine bargaining sessions, the parties, along with federal mediators, determined that no further progress could be made during a September meeting. The previous contract ended on June 30 and has been extended until a new contract is agreed upon.

The board nor the SWEA will not comment on the terms of the proposed contract.

With no upcoming mediation sessions on the table, SWEA members wanted to voice their support for new talks on negotiations.

"We want to do what is best for the students," Langen said.

He also said he trusts that the board members will read each letter in their respected box.

SWEA has over 1400 members that represent teachers, guidance counselors, school psychologists, tutors, school nurses and other certified employees in the district.

In other news:

•Board President James Lester was recognized by the Ohio School Boards Association for his service to the statewide association of school boards, and for his contributions as a member of the OSBA.

Lester serves not only on the OSBA’s board of trustees, the association’s governing body, but also on their urban commission, an organization that represents 21 of Ohio’s largest urban school districts.

"We’re here to thank Jim Lester for his service and for his dedication to the children of Ohio," said Janice Smith, OSBA’s chief financial officer.

Smith also said his commitment to public education went "above and beyond" what is expected, which is why he was honored.

The OSBA also recognized the rest of the board for supporting him and the cause of furthering public education.

•The south wing of the roof at Franklin Heights High School is in need of a new HVAC unit.

Previous bids for the contract were rejected earlier this year, so new ones are to be placed on the table. Bids are expected to be received the fourth week of November, followed by a recommendation for action at the Dec. 10 board meeting.

If the bids are accepted, the work should start during Christmas break, and would probably be finished before school started up again.

•The Central Crossing High School band will attend the Bands of America Regional Contest at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Mo. to receive feedback from nationally accredited adjudicators.

Approximately 145 students and 25 chaperones will make the trip, which is planned for Oct. 19-21.

•Eighth grade students taking the Outdoors Education class at Jackson Middle School will travel to Put-In-Bay to study geology, biology and astronomy at the Stone Lab. Accommodations will be in the OSU dormitory on Gibraltar Island. The trip is planned for Oct. 23-24.

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