Akron teachers union warns of impending strike

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Akron teachers union warns of impending strike

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The teachers union in Akron, Ohio, threatened to go on strike Thursday, days before the school district is set to resume classes following winter break.

The Akron Education Association issued a warning Thursday that the union would go on strike beginning Jan. 9, 2023, after negotiations between the union and the school board for a new collective bargaining agreement broke down.

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The school district is slated to return to classes for the spring semester on Jan. 6, but the district could be forced to cancel classes three days later if the strike takes place. Negotiations have reportedly stalled over teacher compensation and school safety measures.

“The Akron community’s outpouring of concerns regarding school safety and security are being ignored by Akron Public Schools,” Pat Shipe, the union’s president, said. “Weeks of unparalleled fighting are now daily occurrence within Akron school buildings, yet the Superintendent and Board continue to want to water down the definition of assault and force students, teachers, parents and families to endure more violence, disorder and disruption to the education of the majority of Akron students.”

The union president told the Akron Beacon Journal that it was up to the school board to respond to the union’s latest proposal.

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“The ball is in their court. We counter-proposed, and now it’s up to the board to respond to our counterproposal,” Shipe said.

The union is reportedly seeking annual pay raises of 5%, while the school district has countered with a 2% annual raise. According to WVXU News, the union said the school district could easily afford the higher number due to an influx of federal coronavirus relief funding and a number of vacant teaching positions.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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