DPS teachers and professionals ready to strike after voting to authorize strike notice

Teachers and professionals with the Dayton Education Association are ready to strike after voting to authorize a strike notice Thursday. (WKEF/WRGT)

DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - Teachers and professionals with the Dayton Education Association are ready to strike after voting to authorize a strike notice Thursday.

DEA president David Romick told FOX 45 they had to show their intent to strike because the district is not budging on contract negotiations.

The DEA Union is made up of more than 1,000 teachers and professionals within Dayton Public Schools.

FOX 45 was first to break the news of the intended strike to DPS administration, school board members and president, who said he not aware of the union's actions and that they had not notified either the administration or board.

"The vote shows that Dayton public schools are in a crisis," Romick said.

Romick said the district should have seen the crisis coming after 150 hours at the negotiating table, and a walk out of teachers at a recent school board meeting.

"It seems to us like the message should have been received before now," Romick said.

On the bargaining table or salary and benefits, with the union of fighting over salary and benefits, along with increased ESL programs, counselors in every building and open media centers.

Romick said they met with attorneys and human resources for the district May 4 for the first negotiation with a federal mediator.

He said the session ended on a fairly positive note but that there was no movement at the table, so at a DEA membership meeting that night, union members voted to authorize an intent to strike.

"The district has installed time clocks in all of the buildings, they were installed in the midst of negotiations and that didn't go over real well," Romick said. "We've got people that work 10, 12 hours a day and then go home and grade papers and spend their weekends planning lessons."

Romick went on to explain the effects of salary on retaining quality staff, saying, "every year we're losing about 10%, 12% of our teaching staff out the door to surrounding districts where they can make two to $10,000 more in a heartbeat and we are not able to compete."

The union's contract expires June 30. Romick said they would have to vote again and give 10 days notice for any kind of work stoppage strike to take effect.

Neither DPS administration nor any school board members would comment on camera about the intended strike.

DPS released a statement that said, "we will continue to bargain in good faith with the assistance of a federal mediator. We are hopeful that we will reach an agreement."

"It sends a message that we're not viewed as professionals, and that really has been the message that's been received by our membership," Romick said.

Stay with FOX 45 as this story develops.

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