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Published: Monday, 10/21/2013 - Updated: 5 months ago

Union negotiations dominate Perrysburg School Board meeting

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Teachers showed up in big numbers at the Perrysburg school board meeting Monday to indicate interest in getting a new labor contract. Teachers showed up in big numbers at the Perrysburg school board meeting Monday to indicate interest in getting a new labor contract.
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Ongoing negotiations between Perrysburg Schools and its teachers union loomed over Monday night's board of education meeting, as teachers showing support for the union packed the room.

Superintendent Tom Hosler was missing as board president Gretchen Downs called the meeting to order, finally popping out of a crowd of teachers and wheeling in more chairs to accommodate the massive number of teachers present at the meeting. 

Members of the Perrysburg Education Association, which represents 300 teachers, did not speak during public participation. High school guidance counselor Rick Rettig said members didn't have a comment, but wanted to come and show union support.

"I've seen this happen in other districts, they are letting you know they are concerned about the contract," said Mr. Hosler. "That was their primary purpose. We are concerned as well."

Board of Education member Barry Van Hoozen, who has been on the board for 12 years, said he has only seen a similar show of so many teachers at a meeting once before.

The two sides did not reach a new labor agreement during an Oct. 8 mediation, so the next step will be a meeting of a fact-finding panel in early December. The union contract expired July 31; teachers are working under the previous contract. 

Also at Monday's meeting Mr. Hosler discussed the new Ohio Teachers Evaluation System, which has caused the district more challenges. The new evaluations are decided by 50 percent student growth, and 50 percent performance standards, based on observations. 

Those two evaluations decide if a teacher is accomplished, skilled, developing, or ineffective under the system. 

Mr. Hosler said it puts a strain on administrators' time to conduct all the new evaluations. The junior high school just hired another administrator to help with evaluations. Also Monday, the board of education approved the hiring of Tom Shafer to assist with the evaluation workload. He is to be paid $250 per teacher evaluation.

Mr. Shafer previously was a middle school principal in Evergreen Local Schools.

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.



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