By Jennifer Mrozowski
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati teachers scored a victory Wednesday when a state-appointed fact-finder sided with them on many issues in their disputed three-year contract.
Union leaders are urging their members to support the fact-finder's report when they vote next week, even though they didn't get everything they wanted, such as an employee severance incentive plan.
Sue Taylor, president of the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers, said it's time to grant the district's 3,500 teachers, nurses, librarians, psychologists and counselors a contract. Their previous contract expired in December.
"It's not in the best interest of the students, the parents and community members to continue to have this dispute ongoing," she said.
Board President Florence Newell issued a statement saying the board, legal counsel and district are reviewing the report and asking Superintendent Alton Frailey to prepare a recommendation.
The school board and the teachers union have seven days to vote on the fact-finder's recommendations, which are binding unless 60 percent of the union's membership or board votes to reject them.
If the findings are rejected, the parties could agree to go back to the table to negotiate or the union could agree to a job action.
If the report stands, the most experienced teachers will receive additional 3 percent raises to help retain them and more students will have access to music teachers.
The contract also includes a 3.2 percent raise for teachers retroactive to Jan. 1 and smaller pay increases the next two years.
The board could vote as early as Monday. Teachers will vote Tuesday and Wednesday.
Support from both the teachers and board could put an end to five months of negotiations, which grew sour after the school board rejected a tentative contract agreement in March.
Despite the board vote, the union voted March 19 and 20 overwhelmingly to approve the contract. Representatives of both sides had negotiated the contract during 33 sessions.
Frailey and some board members at the time said they could not support the agreement because it didn't include language to change the way teachers are paid.
Union leaders said the board's team never suggested alternative pay plans.
During the fact-finding hearing, both the school board and teachers agreed to convene a committee to research different systems for paying teachers.
Lunken to get longer runway
Big-city mayors use clout for Kerry
County seeks to reunite kids
Arizona governor objects to Fernald waste shipments
Hassles, then tassels
IN THE TRISTATE
City panhandling law renewed for 2 years
Levy renewal vote on Monday
Teachers union satisfied with fact-finder's report
Trustee critical of road financing
Trustees back Y partnership
Session with golf pros is free
Gun found in house where man was killed
Third man guilty in drug runner's death
Norwood studies swapping students
Foes of Norwood levy organize 'no' campaign
Ohio 747 widening begins in June
Iraqi baby with neck growth to be treated in Columbus
House Republicans delay vote on bill
Ohioans forced from homes by floodwater
Explicit blog by Sen. DeWine staffer shocks
Council releases West End money
Public safety briefs
Crowley: Even the losers win awards for this campaign
Bronson: Posse arrests just a dent in area's crime
Good Things Happening
Emily Frank Adler, 93, teacher, arts supporter
Edward Lenney retired, returned to work as principal
Clooney rallies in hometown
Man arrested in death of infant
Boone spending plan ready
Corbin man plans to walk to N.H.
Tainted gasoline traced to Marathon
Expanded curriculum at tech college bears fruit
Ground broken for elementary
Villa Hills votes to hire part-time administrator
Ky. news briefs