Published: Monday, August 20, 2007
Struthers teachers ratify new contract
The board of education could vote on the agreement as soon as Tuesday.
STRUTHERS Members of the 130-member Struthers Education Association have ratified a new two-year contract with the Struthers Board of Education.
The membership seemed "overwhelmingly pleased" with the agreement, said spokesman Richard Gage, adding that the exact vote count wasn't provided to members.
The union's old contract expired June 30, and the teachers had threatened to go on strike at 12:01 a.m. today if an agreement wasn't reached.
Instead of manning the picket lines, the teachers were to report for their first in-service day today as the district prepares to begin classes next Monday.
Terms not released
The two sides reached a tentative agreement Friday.
Negotiations were considered to be at a stalemate since June 28 when the teachers rejected what was reported to be the school board's final offer.
Gage said the board made a counteroffer Friday.
Terms of the agreement won't be released until the school board ratifies it. Gage said the board is expected to vote this week, perhaps at its regular meeting scheduled for Tuesday.
The state placed Struthers in fiscal emergency in 2005, resulting in the appointment of a financial oversight commission, which continues to control district spending.
That control includes authority over negotiated contracts.
Struthers teachers said they have been understanding of the district's financial situation and have accepted wage freezes, supplemental staff reductions and cuts in health care.
Their last pay increase was a 2 percent raise in the 2005-06 school year.
The average teacher salary in the district last year was $51,199, according to the Ohio Department of Education.