Ongoing Showdown at Parma City Schools May Reach Some Conclusions in January


Echoing the labor turmoil that rocked Strongsville City Schools two years ago, the Parma City Schools community is in the midst of its own multi-pronged showdown. The teachers and support staff unions have each been working without a contract for more than a year. As we wind down the holiday break, hope glimmers.

At issue for the teachers is that the board’s most recent official offer would have granted some form of raise while cutting 60 positions, which is the deal-breaker. Those negotiations remain ongoing.

The support staff, standing at some 700 large, has been dodging “status quo” contracts all year. The group rejected the board’s “last, best offer,” which would have slashed health benefits (mostly aimed at spouses) while offering a bit of a raise, before accepting a tentative agreement with the board in late December. A ratification vote is expected next month. The details of there agreement have not yet been public released, but the contract agreement would run though June 30, 2017.

Calls placed to both the Parma Education Association and OAPSE regional offices throughout December weren't answered. We'll check back in post-holidays and closer to the support staff vote.

[Ed. note: An incorrect reference to a security services contractor has been deleted from this story.]

As almost a sideshow to the ongoing financial disputes, former Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason applied for the open seat on the board (current President Sean Nicklos is moving out of the district). He’s never slung school board work before, but both he himself and former Parma Mayor Dean DePiero considered his background to be something of an asset in these troubling times. Current Mayor Tim DeGeeter was listed as a reference on his application.

Anyway, almost blessedly, the board opted for Parma resident and former Safety Director John Tenerowicz.

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