CPS teachers union, board of education reaches tentative contrac - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

CPS teachers union, board of education reaches tentative contract agreement

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The Cincinnati Federation of Teachers and the Cincinnati Board of Education have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract.

There will be a press conference Wednesday afternoon to discuss the contract.

The agreement which follows nearly a year of talks that were challenged by the difficult economy – must be ratified by a majority of union members and the school board.

Both sides said they believe the tentative agreement lives up to expectations that negotiations would produce ground-breaking advancements to further strengthen teaching and learning in Cincinnati Public Schools, which is the highest academically rated urban district in Ohio.

"This tentative agreement continues the CFT's proud tradition of being a national leader in working collaboratively to develop innovations to advance the professionalism of teaching and accelerate student achievement. It accomplishes our goal of having a contract that will support teachers and school staff and help students continue their academic improvement," said Julie Sellers, president of the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers.

Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent Mary Ronan praised negotiators on both sides for their perseverance to get to an agreement.

"It took nearly 12 months, but I believe it was worth the wait," said Superintendent Mary Ronan said. "Despite the difficult economic times, we have reached an agreement that is student-centered, fiscally responsible, and will support and enhance the quality of our great teaching staff. We will build on Cincinnati's long history of working together to improve our schools and provide the city's children the education they will need to succeed in the 21st century."

Teachers and CPS have agreed to collaborate on the design and implementation of a new teacher development and evaluation system.

Sellers said members of the CFT and the Association of Cincinnati Public School Office Personnel will vote on whether to ratify the tentative agreement on Dec. 15 and 16. Voting will take place at the school buildings where members work. Over the next week, Sellers and other union leaders will be meeting with members to explain the details of the tentative agreement and answer members' questions.

The two sides had been clashing over health care costs. The district wanted teachers to pay more than double what they are paying now.

A meeting with a mediator was cancelled earlier this week after negotiations turned in the right direction.

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