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Geneva Area Teachers Association to go on strike Wednesday

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Posted at 11:21 AM, Nov 02, 2021

GENEVA, Ohio — The Geneva Area Teachers Association (GATA), which represents 145 teachers, counselors and nurses, will go on strike in the Geneva Area City School District following a majority vote on Monday.

The strike will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3.

“This was an extremely difficult decision,” said GATA spokesperson Cheryl Ramsey, “but we need to take a stand for quality education for all of our students. During the pandemic, synchronous in school and online learning did not work for most of our students, yet our superintendent wants to continue with this option. Ironically, the program for online learning that she has refused to approve has been purchased for use during the strike.”

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.

“It is the main issue that is dividing GATA and the Board. We want the Geneva community to know that this strike has never been about money. We are taking a stand to assure that all of our students have the quality learning environment that they deserve.”

Geneva Area City Schools Superintendent Terri Hrina-Treharn released the following statement about the strike:

"Over the course of last week, the parties worked extensively and collaboratively through the federal mediation process in order to try to resolve the outstanding contract issues. After hard work, long hours and compromise from both sides, the parties successfully reached a Tentative Agreement on October 28, 2021. On that date, both the Union President and I signed the Tentative Agreement indicating that both sides agreed to the terms for a new agreement. Unfortunately, last night I was informed that, despite the Union leadership agreeing to the Tentative Agreement, the general membership voted down the agreement. Union leadership further indicated that the membership has determined to strike on Wednesday, November 3. The Board truly hopes the Union reconsiders its choice to strike tomorrow. However, should the Union move forward with its work stoppage, the District has taken the necessary steps to ensure that student instruction will continue in a safe and productive manner."

The union sent this statement in response to the superintendent:

"The superintendent doesn’t seem to understand that a tentative agreement is not a binding agreement. It must be reviewed by bargaining members for a minimum of 48 hours, then the membership has discussions for clarification with those on the bargaining team. Only then do the members vote to accept or reject the tentative agreement. Numerous times she has refused to budge on the synchronous learning issue. She seems to be confused on how this works."

As of 11 p.m. on Tuesday, the union said bargaining ended for the night.

RELATED: Geneva Area Teachers Association serves school board strike notice

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