Photo courtesy Ohio Federation of Teachers
The teacher’s union at Summit Academy in Parma yesterday announced an intent to strike beginning February 19th. After the strike authorization
on January 31st, the union had remained hopeful that the Summit Academy Management team would negotiate an acceptable contract to avoid a strike. The teachers and intervention specialists say this has not been the case.
At the Summit Academy Parma board meeting on February 13th, teachers, students and parents spoke about the need to address the inadequate learning environment in the school ranging from issues of student health and wellness to teacher support. A statement released by the Ohio Federation of Teachers notes that the union also filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge against Summit Academy Management this past week. The charge alleges a failure on the part of Summit Academy Management to negotiate in good faith.
Kelly Granda, an art teacher in her sixteenth year at Summit Academy, told Scene that the teachers were surprised to be met by so many parents and students who stood up and spoke to the board.
“We hadn’t asked them to speak,” said Granda, “and didn’t know what they would say but they were pleading with [Summit Academy Management] to make a deal with the teachers to provide what [Summit Academy Management] had promised to them.”
Granda noted that she and many other teachers were touched by this effort and felt reassured to hear that their fight for a fair contract is understood by the families they serve.
“These are good parents who advocate for their children, they did the work researching and may have spent years on the waiting list and when they got that call, they were excited. They want the learning conditions to match the conditions they were promised.”
Granda disclosed to Scene that Summit Academy Management has agreed to meet with the teachers Friday afternoon. If the teachers and the Management team do not come to an agreement, the strike will begin as planned.