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Cleveland Heights-University Heights teachers to strike Wednesday

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‘We stay able to return to the negotiations desk,’ says Board of Training President Jodi Sourini.

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — 500 educators within the Cleveland Heights-College Heights Metropolis College District are set to start their strike on Wednesday morning.

The members of the Cleveland Heights Academics Union (CHTU) say they’re putting in response to the district’s unilateral imposition of a brand new contract that slashes retirement and well being advantages, costing many members $3,000-5,000 a yr in losses.

“Union members are taking this step as a result of decreasing requirements within the district will enhance turnover and drive skilled, expert educators out of the varsity district, impacting the standard of schooling for our college students,” the CHTU wrote in its assertion asserting the strike.

With the academics set to strike, the Cleveland Heights-College Heights Metropolis College District says state regulation, not the need of the Board, will mandate that these picketing will lose their well being advantages.

“Ohio R.C. 4117.15(C) prohibits the Board from offering “pay or compensation” — together with well being care advantages — to workers whereas they’re on strike. It isn’t one thing the Board elected to do with malicious intent amid a pandemic. Somewhat, the Union, if it strikes, will achieve this realizing that the regulation requires the District to stop pay and advantages to those that select to not work. All Ohio public faculty districts should observe this regulation,” wrote Board of Training President Jodi Sourini in a press release. 

“This outrageous transfer by our Board of Training is a heavy-handed try and quash our collective motion by taking away our medical insurance through the peak of a worldwide pandemic,” CHTU President Karen Rego mentioned. “We made the laborious determination to plan for a strike to guard the standard medical insurance that we’ve got gained over time by forgoing wage will increase, and now the district is looking for to punish us by eliminating our healthcare altogether.”

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The college district additionally famous that workers are eligible to proceed their well being advantages by COBRA through the strike, however might be liable for paying for the protection. The union, in the meantime, acknowledged that its strike comes after “the district unilaterally imposed the phrases of their remaining contract proposal, which can elevate healthcare premiums to 250% of the present fee, whereas additionally lowering different compensation by 1%. For a lot of CHTU members that provides as much as a $3,000-$5,000 loss in whole compensation.”

“It’s time Union management acknowledges that the times of 6% premiums and $zero deductibles are over. They need to cease exploiting the pandemic and the actual struggling of those that have misplaced their jobs, been furloughed or have fallen ailing and as a substitute admit that the modest enhance in healthcare they’re being requested to take is affordable and finest for the District, the academics, college students, households and the group. We welcome a spirited debate on substantive contract language reflecting present market situations. We stay able to return to the negotiations desk,” Sourini added.

The primary day of the strike will solely embrace pickets on the Board of Training and Cleveland Heights Excessive College, as a consequence of parking and questions of safety from this week’s winter storm. Following the pickets, educators and supporters, together with State Senator Sandra Williams and AFT President Randi Weingarten, will collect nearly for a teleconference rally at 2:00 p.m.

Remaining days of the strike will embrace pickets at each faculty. Picket line teams might be capped at ten folks, picketers will put on masks and maintain an applicable distance from one another.

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You’ll be able to learn the assertion in regards to the strike from the Cleveland Heights-College Heights College District management beneath:

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