TPS teacher contract negotiations breakthrough

TOLEDO -- Toledo teachers have overwhelmingly approved the terms of a proposed contract. Part of it is based on the findings of an independent fact-finder.

In her assignment education report, Tanieya Lewis explains why teachers may hit the picket line.

After two months of closed door talks and public silence it all comes down to this.

Toledo Federation of Teachers President Francine Lawrence says, "It will go so far in improving morale and lifting the spirits of the school district."

Lawrence says her 2,000 members are ready for a fresh start with a new contract. Saturday afternoon they learned what was in an independent fact finder report that lays out a new contract plan.

"There were questions and comments, but overwhelming acceptance by the teachers this morning."

The fact finder recommends a 4.02% pay raise to be spread over the next two years.

Part of that raise will be paid out retroactive to the two previous school years in the form of a lump sum check. The rest will show up as increases in teacher paychecks. Plus a "me too" provision includes a .53% increase if other bargaining units receive it as well.

"It's a modest settlement. It's a good agreement for employees and the district," says Lawrence.

To get to this point, Lawrence says it took 30 meetings.

"The people we negotiated with were very cooperative and we had excellent discussion, difference of opinion but that's to be expected," says Lawrence.

But Lawrence say teachers are ready to strike in the fall if the school board doesn't approve the proposed deal. She says it happened 7 years ago when previous board members turned down the 1.48% raise in a unanimous vote. The teachers haven't received the raise since then.

WTOL has contacted both the administration and the school board. The administration released a statement saying the office would not comment on the union's actions.

If no action is taken by the board, the fact finder's report becomes the new contract.

Tanieya Lewis reported this story on News 11.

Posted by N Dutton