Campbell teachers unanimously vote to authorize intent to strike - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

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Campbell teachers unanimously vote to authorize intent to strike

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CAMPBELL, Ohio - The 93 members of a teachers union in Campbell have unanimously voted an intent to strike if necessary.

Despite a willingness by the school district's board of education to re-open negotiations on teacher contracts, the Campbell Education Association union voted for the intent to strike Wednesday morning at St. John's the Baptist Orthodox Church.

Representatives for the union say they are now waiting for a federal mediator and want the school board to clarify if they will negotiate or just meet.

Union members rallied Tuesday night entering into the district's Board of Education meeting. Several members wore a button that read "I don't want to strike but I will."

"We would like to, again, urge the Board of Education to send their negotiating team back and work with the teachers so we can have a fair and equitable contract, so we can start the school year on time." said a Colleen Joss, a spokesperson for the CEA.

A news release issued by the union on Thursday claimed that the school board imposed a contract on the teachers after only two bargaining sessions with a federal mediator. The teachers represented by the union say they were never given a vote on the new contract.

"There's several issues and at this point because nothing has been agreed to there is not one sticking point," said Joss. "We don't have anything that's been tentatively agreed upon."

Superintendent Tom Robey confirms that the board issued what it calls its last, best contract offer to the CEA on June 28. He addressed the issue during Tuesday night's meeting saying the board issued the contract reluctantly, seeing the schools finances as a negotiating road block.

"The state and funding of our schools has not been very kind. Our balance this year went from over a $1 million to a little over $300,000," Robey said. "The board and the administrative team is just very, very concerned about fiance in the school district."

In addition, Robey said the board is not yet sure how much revenue the district will receive from the state in the coming year. Robey said he hoped to learn more about state contributions at a meeting in Cuyahoga County on Thursday.

However, Robey said, the board and its negotiating team are more than willing to return to the bargaining table. 

Joss said the union will accept the offer; however they feel the negotiations need to be meaningful, with both sides making sacrifices.

Other business addressed at Tuesday night's meeting included a motion to amend the superintendents contract, changing his position of superintendent to consultant for the district. Board members tabled the motion.

Before the meeting, members of the CEA passed out paper work calling the move "another innovative way to pad his retirement."

The Superintendent says the change will help the districts transition, during a time that many district administrators will be retiring.

A special Board of Education meeting has been scheduled for July 29th to vote on the topic.

Stay connected with wfmj.com and 21 News for more on this developing story.

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