GENEVA, Ohio — The Geneva Area Teachers Association (GATA) issued a 10-day strike notice to the school board after a “very disappointing mediation session” Monday night, the association announced Tuesday.
The association said if a resolution is not reached by Nov. 3, teachers will go on strike.
“This is not something that we ever wanted to do, but after six months of negotiating, we feel like we have no choice,” said GATA Spokesperson Cheryl Ramsey in a statement. “We absolutely hope that we can reach a resolution, but we are equally committed to reaching an agreement that protects quality education and quality teachers for our students."
The board and the association met on Oct. 1 and Oct. 18 under the supervision of a federal mediator.
The decision to give the board a 10-day strike notice comes after the superintendent has “insisted that teachers simultaneously try to teach kids in the classroom and online," according to the release.
Ramsey said forcing teachers to do both online learning and in-person teaching hurts both the teachers and students and said that almost no district in Northeast Ohio is still doing online learning this way after a year of struggle during 2020.
According to the GATA, teachers in Geneva, through previous contracts, agreed to a number of years with no wage increase and said wages are not an issue this time. This is about online instruction and health insurance, particularly for new hires.
“We are asking that the Geneva community join with us in calling on the Board to direct the superintendent to negotiate a fair contract that values teachers and students,” said Ramsey. “We urge our community to hold the Board members accountable. Their contact information is on our Facebook page. No one wants a strike, but our students need and deserve teachers who will do whatever it takes to maintain quality education now and in the future. We are those teachers.”
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