Gahanna-Jefferson officials, teachers to resume negotiations today

Paul Comstock
ThisWeek

The Gahanna-Jefferson Education Association and Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools officials were scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. today, Oct. 12, for another session in continuing negotiations.

Gahanna teachers have given notice that they will strike beginning at 12:01 a.m. Oct. 13 if ongoing talks aren’t successful. 

They say they are unhappy with the proposed plan for a return to some in-person classes Oct. 13, so they voted overwhelmingly late Oct. 1 to authorize a 10-day strike notice. 

Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools administrative offices

The Oct. 12 session follows a three-hour executive session held by the board Oct. 11. The board adjourned the meeting in open session without discussion or taking any action.

In an Oct. 12 news release, the school district said, “Our commitment has been to do all we can to avoid a strike and maintain instruction for our Gahanna-Jefferson students."

Judge Chris M. Brown with the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas declined the district's Oct. 9 request to issue an order prohibiting a strike.

 "We are disappointed the court did not grant our request for the temporary restraining order prohibiting the strike,” the district’s news release said. “While we believe the strike posed a ‘clear and present danger’ to our students and their education, the court disagreed.

“However, (an) unfair labor practice claim, which asserts the strike is unauthorized and illegal, still is pending before the State Employment Relations Board. We believe the unfair labor practice should be granted because the district and the teachers union have never reached impasse and negotiations continue. While we have not reached an agreement, we are hopeful that continued mediation will provide additional opportunities for progress,” the district press release added.  

GJEA spokesperson Betsy Baker said the school district on Oct. 9 "authorized Superintendent Steve Barrett to do whatever necessary should a strike occur."

She said GJEA might issue a press release or hold a press conference late Oct. 13, depending on the day's negotiations.

Check ThisWeekNEWS.com/Gahanna for updates.

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