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Revere teachers sue over contract

By admin Published: September 4, 2011

A union representing Revere's teachers has sued the school district over a three-year contract imposed in July over the union's objections.

The lawsuit, filed this week in Summit County Common Pleas Court, seeks an order that would prevent the district from imposing the new contract and require it to honor a 2010 agreement that includes salary increases effective Aug. 1 for this school year.

The original contract, extended for a year in 2010, would have expired next summer.

However, this spring, both sides discussed extending it again ahead of schedule with changes in pay and health care. They hoped an agreement would help overcome opposition to passing a levy on the May ballot and temporarily shield teachers from Senate Bill 5, which restricts collective bargaining rights.

Both sides agreed on an oral proposal in March for a three-year contract that would have replaced the one-year extension and added two years.

But then district officials realized that because of unanticipated state budget cuts, the treasurer couldn't sign off on a three-year contract ahead of the May election. The school board announced at a special meeting in early April that it would not approve the contract.

Ohio law says that an agreement ratified by both sides, but not approved by the board, takes effect within 30 days unless the union formally rescinds it.

The Revere Board of Education voted July 12 to impose the March proposal, which freezes wages and automatic pay raises tied to years of experience, called steps, through June 30, 2014.

The union, which represents 220 teachers, secretaries and aides, says that its leadership did rescind the deal on April 18 and has included a copy of the meeting minutes in its lawsuit. The union advised the district of the decision the same day, according to the suit.

Superintendent Randy Boroff said in July that the March agreement had to be implemented under Ohio law because the union never informed the district in writing that the union had rescinded the deal.

''This is an issue of litigation and the district will vigorously defend the position that we have taken and basically have no other comment at this time as the process continues,'' Boroff said Friday.

John Higgins can be reached at 330-996-3792 or jhiggins@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the education blog at http://education.ohio.com/.

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