LABOR HARMONY now resides within the Buckeye Local School District.
Such was not the case as late as Wednesday afternoon.
Buckeye Local’s Ohio Public School Employees Union was threatening to strike, commencing Monday morning. That would have created a tough situation with classes slated to resume Aug. 27.
Negotiations between OAPSE and board of education officials had proven fruitless. That all changed Tuesday. With the help of a federal mediator, the two sides reached a tentative accord.
However, one hurdle remained to be cleared to avert a work stoppage, that being union ratification of the proposal. That was delivered Wednesday afternoon in overwhelming fashion.
The vote took place in Yorkville and 70 of the 85 OAPSE members placed a vote. The number would have likely been higher if not for the widespread flooding which ravaged many sections of the school district.
The contract proposal passed with ease, on the strength of a 58-12 margin. Such a lopsided total obviously reflects the union’s embracing of the accord.
The contract will run through June 30, 2016. It includes a pay hike and changes in healthcare coverage.
While OAPSE employees can feel good about their new working agreement, students and staff in the district also come up big winners. They will not have to cross picket lines, while busing and other services will not be disrupted or placed in the hands of replacement workers.
Buckeye Local will open its new school year as the way it should — no labor strife.
The 11th-hour accord reinforces that good things come about through communication. The negotiations may have been lengthy and rocky at times, but dialoguing avoided a major school district headache.