Dayton teachers union vote to strike
UPDATE: Dayton teachers could soon be walking the picket line.
Tuesday, 98 percent of union members voted to strike if they can't reach a contract agreement.
The superintendent said she doesn't want that to happen but said if it does, the school district is ready with a backup plan.
1,080 teachers, staff, and counselors could go on strike four days before the news school year starts, which would impact 13,500 students.
The superintendent stressed school will go on.
"Schools have to stay open, we're in the business of educating children, so school will be open on day one," Dayton Public Schools Superintendent Rhonda Corr said.
Dayton's superintendent is certain school year will start on time even if teachers go on strike.
"Yes we are ready," said Corr.
"The Dayton Public Schools are in crisis the board has failed to compromise with Dayton teachers repeatedly," said Dayton Education Association President David Romick.
Negotiations started in January.
In July, a mediator canceled talks after little progress was made. The union filed an intent to strike notice Monday.
"Starting the school year without a contract is not an option," said Romick.
Sticking points include pay and benefits, including health insurance, the length of the school day and respect for school teachers.
"Our message needs to be taken seriously and that we are a force to be reckoned with," said Romick.
"We still remain hopeful," said Corr.
The superintendent said the two sides aren't that far apart and the school board has been negotiating in good faith.
"And that's how we'll continue, we do have to be fiscally responsible but we want to do everything we can for our teachers," said Corr.
The last time Dayton teachers were on strike was 1993 and they were on the picket line for 16 days.
"There's nothing more I want than to avert a strike and get my Dayton Public School teachers back in front of kids," said Corr.
Corr said if there's a strike, there will be enough subs and other teachers for every teacher on strike.
School starts August 15.
Before that, negotiations start back up Thursday and there's two also scheduled next week.
DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - The Dayton teachers union has voted overwhelmingly to go on strike effective at 12:01 a.m. on August 11 unless a contract agreement can be reached.
The Dayton Education Association filed its intent to strike notice on Monday, July 31. "The Dayton Public Schools are in crisis," said David Romick, president of the Dayton Education Association. Romick said the school board has not compromised with teachers, negotiations have been ongoing since January 6 of this year. "As educators," Romick said, "we are seriously concerned about student learning conditions, and are fearful that continued lack of leadership at Dayton Public Schools have forced negotiations to just days away from the start of the school year."
According to the DEA, teachers had been open with the board saying working without a contract wasn't an option. The teachers union represents nearly 1,100 educators who are employed by Dayton Public Schools.