Geneva teachers planning to strike over remote learning concerns, union says

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GENEVA, Ohio (WJW) – Teachers with Geneva Schools are still planning to go on the picket line Wednesday after a last-minute effort to ratify a single issue in their contract failed on Monday.

It’s still possible that a strike by district teachers and union staff members could be avoided, but as of 4 p.m. Tuesday, they plan to strike and there’s not much separating the two sides.

The problem here does not seem to be at all about money or benefits, but about distance learning. Union members don’t want to do in-person and virtual learning simultaneously in their classrooms.

In a written statement to FOX 8, the district says it has now agreed to terms with the union membership on at least two previous occasions. The latest was on Oct. 28, which the district says resolved all issues, including remote learning.

However, the union membership refused to accept the agreement in a vote Monday evening.

“The board truly hopes the union reconsiders its choice to strike tomorrow. However, should the union move forward with its work stoppage, the district has taken the necessary steps to ensure that student instruction will continue in a safe and productive manner,” said Superintendent Dr. Terri Hrina-Treharn.

“Having the teachers in the classroom on Zoom with the students on screen and teaching to a classroom full of students at the same time. It didn’t work during the pandemic and its not going to work now,” said union spokesperson Cheryl Ramsey.

The union says a federal mediator continues to work toward a resolution and the bargaining unit has been given the green light to resolve this if there is another agreement this evening, so there is still a chance the strike may not happen.

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