FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) – Contract negotiations between Fairborn City Schools and the unions representing Fairborn teachers will no longer be face-to-face.
“It’s been rough,” said Brian McWhorter, spokesperson for the FEA and the FCEA. “It’s been really frustrating. The morale of our teachers is very low.”
That is the feeling among 350 teachers in Fairborn on Tuesday after learning of the new direction for negotiations regarding a new contract.
Teachers in Fairborn have been working since June without a new contract after the school board decided to cancel the previous contract.
“We were kind of dismayed and disappointed by that statement,” said McWhorter. “We feel that the best way to get a new contract ratified is to meet in the same room face-to-face. We’ve been asking for that all along.”
The decision comes after representatives between Fairborn City Schools and the Ohio Education Association cancelled Monday’s meeting.
The FEA and FCEA, both representing Fairborn teachers, said negotiations will now continue via email.
They feel it is a step in the wrong direction.
“There are times when negotiations go into the school year and that’s understandable,” said McWhorter. “But this is much different because the fact that our previous contract is not being recognized means they’ve imposed unfair working conditions on us that we haven’t agreed to.”
The Fairborn City School District released a statement saying negotiations still continue and a draft proposal has been made.
“The OEA Rep and Board attorney agree upon this approach rather than exchanging traditional position proposals from each party. Instead the two advocates have been concentrating on resolving issues between the parties to reach joint agreement,” said Fairborn City Schools in a statement.
The FEA and FCEA are expected to meet with the State Employment Relations Board in Columbus on February 19. The meeting is to discuss the lawsuit filed against Fairborn City Schools for unlawful practices.