DPS superintendent breaks down numbers and demands ahead of potential teacher strike
DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - The clock is ticking as Dayton Public Schools teachers get closer to the picket line.
Final negotiations between the Dayton Education Association teachers union and the district administration will be held Wednesday, but a head of that the district is laying out the numbers explaining why they can't give teachers everything they're asking for.
The bottom line, district officials said in an informational meeting Tuesday night, is that they simply don't have the money.
"The only reason we can't afford what they're asking is we don't have the funds," said treasurer Hiwot Abraha.
"I just can't imagine going on strike with this kind of offer on the table, I think it's very fair it's very reasonable," said superintendent Rhonda Corr.
DPS said the DEA is asking for a 9 percent pay increase for the next three years, to recover missed salary steps from years of freezes. They did have raises over that period of time, but they missed the steps as they advanced in their years.
The superintendent said the District has countered with, "8 percent in the first year, 7 percent in the second year, and 7 percent in the third year. Is a very fair offer it's everything we can afford without going into the red."
Corr said the district will go into the red if they give the DEA what they have asked and said they would have to ask taxpayers for a levy in 2020.
Tuesday's meeting also revealing of both sides are not seeing eye to eye on the structure of the school day.
According to the district, the DEA is asking for more planning time while the district is countering with more instruction time.
"Negotiations are a give and take. We have given all that we can give," Corr said.
Dayton Public Schools also wanted to reassure her parents by explaining no full-time classroom will be without a substitute teacher or a lesson plan when school starts on August 15.
"We have got a hail Mary tomorrow we have one more day," said Superintendent Corr, "it's much easier to have a verbal conversation then pass the paperwork back and forth," she continued about keeping a level head during the final negotiations.
The DEA union has said they are fighting for salary increases in order to keep teachers with the district instead of leaving for a better paying jobs.
FOX 45 reached out to the DEA president for a comment but did not hear back.
Final negotiations resume Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. If no deal is reached, the teachers could legally begin their strike at 12:01 AM on Friday.
Teachers will not be paid while on strike.