DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Dayton Education Association has voted in favor of authorizing a strike, following months of stalled negotiations with Dayton Public Schools over a new contract.
DEA president David Romick said months of negotiations have gone nowhere and union members don’t believe they’ve been taken seriously by DPS.
“I don’t know why last night’s vote would have been a surprise to the board of education. But seemingly it was. Hopefully now the message is clear that we’re serious, we want to get down to the business of negotiating this contract, come up with a fair agreement, put this behind us, and get on with educating children,” Romick said.
The union and DPS has been in talks since January.
But despite some one hundred and fifty hours of negotiations, Romick says progress has been “very slow” and “difficult”.
The two sides are at an impasse, and many items remain unsolved, including wages and benefits.
A federal mediator has now stepped in to help both side reach an agreement.
The current contract expires June 30th.
Union members, Thursday night, voted in favor of authorizing a strike if the status of negotiations does not improve.
When asked what teachers, want, Romick said: “Respect. First and foremost.
“There are a number of issues on the table but there have been some hiccups along the way with the Dayton board as has been widely publicized. And those aren’t helpful to the situation.”
Romick said the DEA hasn’t been taken seriously.
DPS has said it will continue to bargain in good faith with the assistance of a federal mediator and it is hopeful that an agreement will be reached.
Negotiations will continue on Wednesday.