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CMSD, teachers reach tentative agreement

The Cleveland Teachers Union and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District reached tentative agreement on a contract that will be sent to the members of the union and the school board for ratification.

After a final push that consisted of 21 straight hours of bargaining, the district and the union reached the agreement at 5 a.m. today.

“We worked hard to avoid any disruption to our students’ education," said CTU President David Quolke. "We were able to bring back a contract that is good for kids and fair for educators -- that our members will be proud to ratify. We listened to the concerns of our members and Cleveland parents through conversations and surveys and made sure those issues were at the forefront of our talks.” 

District Chief Executive Officer Eric Gordon had remained optimistic throughout negotiations that began last November that the two sides could reach agreement without eroding reforms vital to continuing the progress seen under The Cleveland Plan.

“We are pleased to take a contract to the board that both sides see as fair,” said Gordon. “And now we must work beyond the bargaining table to breathe life into a contract that has, at its heart, what’s best for kids.”

The Cleveland Teachers Union had issued notice of its intent to go on strike, beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday. This tentative agreement averts the strike and keeps students and educators in the classroom on Friday. Educators will be sent copies of the tentative agreement and voting will be held in schools after members have had a chance to review the details.

Quolke added: “This contract helps to provide the tools and conditions that will benefit our educators and students in our schools. Our working conditions are student learning conditions.”

If the members of the CTU and school board both ratify the contract, the new deal will go into effect immediately. Full details of the tentative agreement will be released to members of the CTU and the school board before it will be shared with the public.
CMSD and CTU have many issues that they need to collaborate on in the near future, not the least of which is a school levy that will be on the ballot in November.