DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – More than 100 Dayton public school teachers walked out of school board meeting Wednesday. They’re putting the pressure on board members to meet their demands as the two sides try to hammer out a deal.
Teachers stood in solidarity, all with the same message, no contract, no work.
“We are showing solidarity to the board to demonstrate that we need movement in our contract negotiations,” Dayton Education Association President David Romick said.
Since January, the teacher’s union and the school board have been negotiating, coming to the table a total of 20 times. Each time ending without a deal.
“Without a contract there,” Romick said. “Can be no work.”
Romick says teachers want better compensation that’s comparable to that of neighboring districts. He argues too many well-qualified teachers have left DPS for better pay across town.
Romick says teachers also want every school library to be open daily and want counselors at every school.
“A number of children in our school districts and in our classes have mental health issues,” Romick said. “Have behavioral issues. They come to school with baggage that they need to deal with effectively.”
The current contract will expire at the end of June. Romick says he’s hopeful they’ll reach a deal, or else it’ll be back to the drawing board.
“We’ll have to sit down and strategize next steps,” Romick said. “And we’ll be increasing community involvement and increasing these kinds of solidarity activities.”
Because both sides are now roughly 60 days away from the contract expiring, a federal mediator will join the negotiating sessions. We reached out to the board for comment, but we’re told they don’t comment on on-going negotiations.