Westlake school board votes to implement ‘best and final’ contract offer to teachers

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WESTALKE, OH - Teachers in Westlake could be headed for the picket line. This week teachers will vote on whether to go on strike after the Westlake School Board voted to implement its best and final contract offer Monday night.

Board members voted 4 to 1 to implement the contract during a heated and emotional meeting held at the high school. Hundreds of teachers, parents and students packed the auditorium, nearly all of them strongly urging the school board not to put the contract into effect.

Both sides have been trying to iron out a deal for more than a year. School board members say their offer included salary increases and modest changes in healthcare. Board members also say Westlake teachers are among the top 2% when it comes to teacher salaries in the state.

Last month, the Westlake Teachers' union overwhelmingly rejected the board’s offer and submitted a counter proposal that they say is fair. But board members say the union’s proposal exceeds the amount of spending they have projected by 28%.

Before Monday night’s meeting, dozens of teachers gathered in front of the high school, urging the school district to return to the bargaining table. They say if teachers vote to strike on Wednesday, it would affect all summer educational, sports and extra-curricular activities.

The new contract is expected to go into effect June 27th.