Ohio teachers and school system reach agreement, potentially ending strike

Aug 25 (Reuters) – Teachers in Ohio’s largest school system and district officials reached an agreement early on Thursday, potentially ending a strike that began this week over appropriate class sizes and air conditioning guaranteed in classrooms.

The Columbus Education Association (CEA), a union representing nearly 4,500 teachers, counsellors, librarians and other workers, said on Twitter that it had reached a “conceptual agreement” and members should watch for updates.

“CEA members: do not show up at picket sites in the morning, check your email for further instructions,” he said in his tweet.

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Details of the deal were not available early Thursday morning. CEA members are expected to ratify the agreement for the strike that began on Monday to end.

The Columbus Dispatch newspaper reported that the agreement was reached after more than 12 hours of negotiations between Columbus City schools and the association with a federal mediator.

The district will continue virtual learning Thursday and Friday and educators are expected to return to school Monday, the newspaper reported.

Members voted Sunday to reject the school board’s “last, best and last offer” and begin its first strike since 1975.

The labor dispute involved several issues, including smaller class sizes, full-time art, music and physical education teachers in elementary schools, and working heating and air conditioning in classrooms.

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Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Jeremy S. McLain