Intent To Strike Looms Over Columbus City Schools

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The spokeswoman for the Columbus City Schools says so far it’s business as usual even though several thousand non-teaching members of a local union might go out on strike.

Columbus City Schools spokeswoman Kim Norris says that so far, a potential strike has not affected school services

“For parents probably the most important thing to know is that we expect that our employees will continue to be at work,” Norris says. “We have no strike notification and that’s where it stands right now.”

Even though members of the Columbus School Employees Association voted to strike, an intent to strike has yet to be filed. The union action affects about 3,000 staff positions that include custodians, secretaries and bus drivers.

Some union members are unhappy with rising health care costs and small salary increases. Betty Simmons-Talley is head of the Columbus School Employees Association:

Q: Do you think you’ll file an intent to strike?

“We’re looking at that and yes there’s a possibility that we will do that,” Simmons Talley says.

But first, Simmons-Talley says, the union wants to hear a counter proposal from the Columbus City School Board.

“Right now we’re just waiting to see what the board is going to do. And they know what the vote was and right now we’re just waiting to see what the negotiating team with Dr. Harris is going to do,” Simmons-Talley says.

The Columbus Board of Education has scheduled a special meeting which may go into executive session. But Kim Norris says she cannot say whether the matters to be discussed are labor related.

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