DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Closed-door negotiations between the Dayton Education Association and the Board of Education continued into Monday evening. The two sides were expected to negotiate until 9:00 p.m. but instead of breaking for the evening pizza, the parties wrapped up for the day just before 10:00 pm.
The parties will return to the negotiating table Wednesday to try and reach an agreement. If no deal is reached the DEA will be on strike effective 12:01 am Friday.
DEA President David Romick said in a statement: “The Dayton Education Association sincerely appreciates the strong community support from parents, faith leaders, small business owners, and labor leaders today. This high-level of support reminds us that the Dayton community supports their teachers and for that we are most grateful. Dayton teachers are so very proud of our community, and appreciate the solidarity!”
With school opening for students on Tuesday, one parent suggested they delay the start of school – if an agreement can’t be reached.
“The main concern is – who’s going to teach the class,” said Chantel Lawrence. “Maybe we should just start school after labor day like some districts.”
Lawrence has four children inside the DPS school system.
If an agreement is not reached, teachers will go on strike on Friday.
“I can see both sides – let’s put it that way,” Lawrence said. “We’re a large district and teachers need to be compensated for the job that they do. We count on them to teach our kids.”
DPS Superintendent Rhonda Corr said they will hire some 600 substitute teachers to take over, should DPS teachers not show up on the first day of school.
Lawrence said that’s not something she’s on board with.
“I don’t think they should have substitute teachers for the first week of school or until they reach an agreement. I think that’s why they should start a little later,” she said.
Sticking points for DPS teachers include pay, benefits, and job security.
Tim Evans, a husband to a retired school teacher said he understands the sacrifices teachers make and they deserve to be fairly compensated.
“You understand their situation completely and you want to be sympathetic to what they want as long as it’s not ridiculous and I’ve looked at it and it doesn’t seem ridiculous,” he said.