Dayton teacher’s union holds rally to widen support during negotiations

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – About 100 Dayton Public Schools teachers came together for a rally Tuesday, calling for better working conditions. This comes at the same time the school board and the teacher’s union are in the negotiating process. So far, no deal has been reached.

Both sides have come to the table a total of 25 times–including Tuesday–each time ending without a deal. Both sides say they’re hopeful a deal will be reached soon.

“The last six months,” Dayton Education Association President David Romick said. “I would characterize as being slow.”

A negotiating process without much traction. That’s why Tuesday, Romick held a special rally at Old Scratch Pizza in Dayton, hoping to widen their support from the community.

“We’re hopeful that the remaining sessions,” Romick said. “We have this week may prove to be fruitful.”

This week, both sides are meeting every day. A first, since negotiations began in January. A federal mediator has joined the latest string of discussions.

“The mediator at this point,” Romick said. “Is going back and forth between the two rooms trying to reach settlement on what ever issues he can.”

Some of the issues up for discussion are teachers want counselors at every school, not just the high schools. They also want all school libraries to be open on a consistent basis.

Romick says right now some buildings don’t have the staff to the keep the libraries opened every school day.

“Access to libraries helps with early literacy,” Romick said. “With reading skills, with research skills, computer technology skills.”

“We remain committed to the mediation process over the next several days,” DPS Superintendent Rhonda Corr said in statement released late Tuesday. “And remain optimistic that a settlement will be reached. We respect our teachers and all of our employees, and value their dedication to the Dayton Public Schools.”

The current contract for teachers expires June 30th. If they can’t reach a deal by then, they could extend their contract temporary for roughly a month or they could go on strike. If they decide to strike, they would have to give the district a 10-day notice.

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