PAULDING — The Paulding Education Association (PEA) has issued a press release about working without a new contract at Paulding Exempted Village Schools since the expiration of its last contract in June.
The following is the press release from the PEA:
“Paulding teachers who are members of the Paulding Education Association (PEA) will attend the Paulding Board of Education meeting Monday at 7 p.m. Teachers will attend this meeting to show support for their bargaining team, as well as to express their displeasure with the (Paulding Exempted Village Board of Education) board’s failure to reach a fair settlement with the PEA.
“The bargaining teams for the PEA and the board are next scheduled to negotiate with the assistance of a federal mediator on Oct. 4.
“PEA members are hopeful that a fair and equitable agreement can be reached during the Oct. 4 mediation that will meet the needs of all involved parties: students, teachers, administration, and the community at large. However, PEA members are also greatly concerned that that board’s most recent bargaining proposals have failed to address the Paulding School District’s continuing problems with attracting and retaining quality staff. Teacher turnover has been, and continues to be, a huge problem for the school district.
“Paulding teachers and the Paulding (Exempted Village) Board of Education have been in negotiations since April 12, without reaching an agreement. The contract between the PEA and the Paulding (Exempted Village) Board of Education expired on June 30.
“The PEA represents 118 certified classroom teachers, guidance counselors, school nurses, speech pathologists, tutors and other education professionals employed by the Paulding (Exempted Village) Board of Education.”
The Paulding Exempted Village Board of Education released the following statement in response to the PEA:
“The board has seen the PEA press release regarding the status of collective bargaining negotiations. Although the board does not believe it is appropriate to try to bargain a contract by using the public for leverage, it feels compelled to offer a response as the board does not believe the PEA’s press release characterizing bargaining to date is fair or accurate.
“The board shares the PEA’s desire to reach a fair and equitable agreement for both parties and believes the board has already offered a fair settlement that will enable it to continue to retain quality teachers, while reining in current deficit spending and addressing the district’s spiraling insurance costs.
“The board disputes the PEA’s contention that the district has a significant problem with teacher turnover in comparison with other districts, and the PEA’s implication that teachers who leave are doing so to obtain better compensation elsewhere, as opposed to leaving the profession, retiring, or moving to be closer to home or family.”
The board also plans to read a prepared statement during the meeting on Monday evening.