Elmwood Local Schools is a small rural district where school administrators and the teachers union have always made it work. Union President Sonja Brand wasn't happy to hear the State of Ohio may be stepping in-and switching up the way they do business.
The state proposed bill suggests imposing a merit system and taking health care costs out of the negotiation process. These changes along with several other would tilt the power towards administrators across the board.
Mandating it to be the same for all schools in Ohio is unreasonable because we're not, says Brand whose keeping a close eye on what's happening Columbus. She believes the decisions made there will impact Elmwood, even more so than larger districts with more resources.
Elmwood superintendent Tony Borton says the current collective bargaining process that's been in place since the 80's needs fixing. It would be nice to have those rights back in management and board of educations pocket so I think those are some of the benefits we could see here at Elmwood, Borton.
Brand agrees changes must be made, but says these changes are too drastic we wouldn't have any voice whatever occurs in school, Brand. She will be visiting the states capitol to plea with lawmakers on behalf of her teachers, who make on average about $40,000.
Borton likes the idea of spending less time agonizing over smaller things that would be knocked out of the negotiation process. However, he says he doesn't know that the current bill as it stands, meets the needs of both teachers and the administration in his district.