DEA ratifies deal; votes no confidence in DPS superintendent
DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - A deal has been ratified by teachers with the Dayton Education Association union with Dayton Public Schools, ending a strike threat.
School will go on as planned on the district's first day August 15, with district teachers staffing their own classrooms instead of previously hired substitutes.
Teachers also voted "No Confidence" in superintendent Rhonda Corr, union president David Romick said because of the grueling 8 month process to reach an agreement.
"This is not an easy place to work, this is not an easy place to teach," romick said in a press conference following Thursday's vote.
The teacher had been negotiating for a salary competitive with surrounding districts, benefits, resources, and respect from the district.
The final negotiation lasted from 9 a.m. Wednesday, until 3:30 am Thursday.
Superintendent Rhonda Corr called it a "hail Mary," but after the marathon negotiation session a tentative agreement was reached to avoid a strike.
Thursday afternoon, more than 800 of the 1,000 member DEA union filed into the Marriot hotel near the University of Dayton to ratify the tentative agreement.
"Do you feel like you got what you were hoping for?" Fox 45's Kelly May asked Romick.
"No," he said, "We did not get what we were hoping for, but what we did get, we felt was enough to ensure that we were in our classrooms."
Romick also said, while enough to avoid a strike, they accepted the agreement because he felt they were out of options.
"This process, the way it unfolded, the commentary within its process, and the violations of the process which occurred as we traversed this course, were all unfair to our students, unfair to our community, and the DEA has seen fit tonight to collectively stand up and say enough," Romick said.
Disheartened, Romick also talked about why the membership voted no confidence in Rhonda Corr, saying, "What has happened in the last 8 months is unfair to the Dayton Community and the students we serve."
"I hope that we have demonstrated through the process that we respect our teachers," Superintendent Rhonda Corr told Fox 45 prior to the union vote, "That we wanted our teachers back in our classrooms, we have listened to our families."
Corr said she was thankful to the DEA leadership that an agreement had been reached, and was pleased to be starting the school year on a positive note but still looking to the future of the district.
"I think sometimes in the past things were done to people, and not with them," Corr said, "And I think that's where the respect factor comes in-- and I think that's what the teachers are referencing-- so I no longer want anyone to feel like they're not part of the process."
As for any future tax levy to help pay for negotiated salaries, Coor said, "That's not something we can rule out because the last levy that was passed was in 2009."
"It is not the fault or the responsibility of the Dayton Education Association that the Dayton Public School district has not sought a levy since 2009," said Romick.
The agreement is for a two year contract, which according to Romick means they will be back at the bargaining table in about 18 months.
The specific details of the contract were not released by either DPS or the DEA pending ratification by school board members next week.