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Still no contract for Switzerland of Ohio teachers

Union asks community to show support

Photo Provided SHOWN HERE is River Elementary School, part of the Switzerland of Ohio School District. Contract negotiations still are underway between the teachers’ union and board of education.

WOODSFIELD — Another round of negotiations did not result in a new contract for teachers in the Switzerland of Ohio Local School District.

Karissa Wooddell, Switzerland of Ohio Education Association spokeswoman, said Friday the last two bargaining sessions with the board of education and a federal mediator have yielded few results.

She said the union is now calling on the community to show its support for the teachers and what they are asking for in a new contract.

“Switzerland of Ohio Local School District is the largest employer in Monroe County. The bargaining decisions being made have a great impact on educators, community members and most importantly our students and their education,” Wooddell said. “At this time it is essential that our community comes together to ensure that every decision made is what is best for the students we serve. Every student deserves quality educators and equal opportunities.”

Wooddell said little movement has been made in the negotiations toward any significant progress in reaching a new contract.

“At this time there has been minor agreement in concept on very small issues, such as recognition clause and association rights. There hasn’t been an official tentative agreement signed for any bargaining issues, big or small,” she said. “Agreement in concept means that contract language has been discussed mutually but it is not on paper. A tentative agreement is when the contract language is written and approved by both bargaining teams. The next mediated sessions are scheduled for Dec. 4 and Dec. 15.”

Switzerland Associate Superintendent Cyndi Brill declined to comment Friday. She previously said the administration could not comment on the negotiations, but that the district remained committed to the process. She referred questions to board of education members.

Wooddell has said that some of the issues the union wants to resolve include the workload during the pandemic and its impact on the quality of education for students, lack of sick days, wages and reduction of health care benefits, just to name a few.

The contract teachers are working under expired Aug. 31. Wooddell said the union remains optimistic that a fair contract can be reached.

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