Unions to vote on school board proposal

By Amanda Crowe acrowe@civitasmedia.com

February 12, 2014

FAIRBORN — The Fairborn school board and unions are inching closer to an agreement as the Fairborn Education Association and the Fairborn Classified Employees Association plan to vote on the most recent proposal next Tuesday.

According to FEA/FCEA representatives, both sides worked to develop a joint settlement agreement by email on Feb. 3. At the end of a six-hour negotiations session on Feb. 10, the Fairborn Board of Education provided a draft settlement agreement.

Union members then met Monday to review and discuss the proposal.

“Both sides agreed to take time to review this draft before signing and creating a formal tentative agreement,” said union spokesperson Brian McWhorter. “The proposal that is before FEA/FCEA is not a tentative agreement. Details are still being worked out on its language and it has not been signed off upon by either the board or union’s leadership.”

The membership of both unions carried a motion to vote whether or not to accept the current proposal on Feb. 18.

“The vote is expected to take place next Tuesday at which time the final decision from that vote will be presented to the Board of Education,” McWhorter said. “If the union votes to accept the agreement, the board would then vote to ratify or reject the new collective bargaining agreement.”

This vote comes the day before the scheduled State Employee Relations Board (SERB) hearing regarding a complaint the unions filed against the school board following the repudiation of the FEA and FCEA contracts on June 26, 2013. It is the position of the unions that the board’s actions were illegal.

According to the board, without repudiation the district’s expenses would have increased $1,548,963. With repudiation, and the elimination of 45 positions in April of 2013, the district was able to reduce costs by $2,738,315.

“The hearing will last as many days as is necessary. It could be a day or it could be weeks,” said McWhorter. “Both the FEA and FCEA are eagerly awaiting the findings of the hearing and anticipate a favorable ruling.”

McWhorter explained that if SERB rules in favor of the unions, the district will have to honor the previous contracts.

Amanda Crowe may be reached at 878-3993 ext. 134.