Columbus students returning after striking teachers ink deal


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Students in Ohio’s largest school district were returning Monday to classrooms after members of the union representing teachers and other employees approved a contract, ending a strike that began a week ago.

The Columbus Education Association’s nearly 4,500 teachers, librarians, nurses, counselors, psychologists and other education professionals on Sunday voted 71% to 29% to approve the new three-year contract with Columbus City Schools.

The pact calls for 4% raises each year of the contract. It includes plans for building improvements to ensure that spaces are climate controlled, reduces class sizes and offers innovative paid leave benefits.

“More than 4,000 of our members stood strong on the picket line, our community joined the fight, and we won victories on all three of these issues that will impact every one of the nearly 50,000 students in Columbus City Schools,” union spokesperson Regina Fuentes said in a statement.

The president of the school board, Jennifer Adair, said the agreement puts children first.

Union members went on strike Aug. 22 for the first time since 1975 and a “conceptual agreement” had been reached Thursday, tentatively ending the strike. The district’s 47,000 students began the school year remotely last week.

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