Conflict between Youngstown School CEO and teacher's union reach - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Conflict between Youngstown School CEO and teacher's union reach tipping point

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

CWhat's been simmering for several months between Youngstown schools CEO Krish Mohip and the Youngstown teachers union, boiled over this week.

In a charge of unfair labor practice, the union is accusing Mohip of using an offer of a 5 percent teachers raise to accelerate his powers provided under House Bill 70. Powers that could completely reshape the Youngstown City School District.

HB 70 as its commonly referred to went into effect October of 2015. It gives the CEO in charge of failing school districts, unheard of powers.

For instance, after the first report card a district receives under HB 70. the CEO has the power to reconstitute any school in the district. As part of that change, principals and administrative staff can be replaced as well.

A majority of the schools staff including teaching and non-teaching employees can also be replaced.

The CEO can hire a non profit or for-profit organization to manage operations of the school. 

Schools can be re-opened as a community school or a STEM school or even permanently closed. 

The CEO can also reopen any collective bargaining agreement that's made after HB 70 took effect to renegotiate terms.

After the school district receives its second report card under HB 70, the CEO can limit, suspend or alter any provision of a collective bargaining agreement that's made after HB 70 took effect, provided the CEO doesn't reduce base hourly pay or insurance benefits. 

While opponents say that amount of power is concerning, proponents of the plan say desperate times call for desperate measures. Ohio Governor John Kasich had this to say back in 2015 before the Youngstown school district was taken over.

"What do they want to do? They want kids to continue to fail? People ought to be outraged when kids are trapped in failing schools. It's a disgrace," said Kasich.

So how does this all relate to the feud between Mohip and the teachers union? The issue seems to be when Mohip's powers under HB 70 actually kick in. 

Mohip feels like it's now. He says with HB 70 taking effect in October of 2015, the 2015-2016 school year was the first school year under HB 70. The 2016-2017 school year, which is just about to wrap up, is the districts second year under the CEO plan. 

The union says Mohip's powers wouldn't start until after the 2018-2019 school year.

Ultimately this situation will be decided by a mediator appointed by the State Employment Relations Board. For now though, an education impasse. One side posturing to exhort authority and another side trying to thwart it. All the while, the kids are stuck in the middle. 

"There saying, let's wait until 2018 or 2019 but what do we do in the meantime? What does that mean for our children, what does that mean for our educators? I'm not OK with that. I didn't come here to wait," said Mohip.

Attorney's representing the teachers union did not return our calls for this story. Mohip says his team is still looking at their legal options in the case. 

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