TIPP CITY — Tipp City teachers rallied outside the high school before the board of education meeting Monday night.
Dozens of district teachers and their supporters gathered to voice their concerns about contract negotiations. One held a sign that read, “Results don’t lie.”
Members of the recently formed Tipp City Education Association (TCEA) voted last month on their first contract with the board, which reportedly failed over a disagreement on binding arbitration and fair share dues.
“We have been bargaining for our contract since July 1,” TCEA president Heather Yunker said in a statement. “We are in agreement about many things, including salary and benefits. We need the board’s attention and cooperation to reach a final agreement. We’re confident that together we can accomplish this.”
TCEA cites the number of teachers that have left the district — more than 60 in the last four years, they said — as one of the main reasons the association was formed.
The board met in an executive session Monday night, in part to discuss matters relating to bargaining.
At the meeting, the board recognized athletic trainer Aaron Schlotterbeck as part of National Athletic Training Month.
Schlotterbeck has worked with all of the high school’s student athletes for the last eight years as part of the district’s partnership with Upper Valley Medical Center.
“That’s as many as 57 teams that he is taking care of,” board president Carla Frame said,
In other business, the board approved an amendment to the district’s agreement with Upper Valley Medical Center to include additional athletic training services for an annual cost of $15,000.
The board approved several overnight trips, including two for the high school quiz team. The team will compete at the National History Bowl and Bee in Washington, D.C., from April 22–24. The team will also attend the High School National Championship in Dallas, Texas, May 27-29.
Students will also travel to the Band of America Grand Nationals in Indianapolis in November and to Disney World in March 2017.
The board also thanked all of the volunteers who worked on the bond issue campaign.
“Although we did not get the result we were looking for, we’re not defeated,” Frame said.
At the meeting, the board heard comments from several community members.
One parent, Corine Doll, spoke in support of the district’s teachers, urging the board to treat teachers fairly.
“These teachers aren’t just teachers, they are our family,” Doll said. “I’m looking at the faces of people who educated me and continue to educate my children. And I want them treated fairly, I want them treated compassionately, and I want them to have the contract that they’ve worked hard for.”
Resident Don Watson called the rejection of a 3.98-mill construction bond issue a “wake up call” for the board, saying that he and other community members would rather see current buildings kept up instead of new construction. Jerry Borchers echoed that sentiment, addressing what he described as an attitude of letting district assets go in favor of building new.
After an executive session following the meeting, the board voted to award former superintendent Dr. John Kronour a performance bonus based on the district’s 2014-15 state report card, as allowed by his contract. Board member Sam Spano voted against the bonus.
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (937) 552-2205.
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