Indian Creek teachers give response to board action

WINTERSVILLE – The acting president of the Indian Creek Education Association says members of her union are disappointed in action taken by the Indian Creek Board of Education Thursday.

The board approved a resolution calling for the implementation of what it called its last, best and final offer to the union.

“My fellow teachers and I are disappointed that the board took the action it did. Throughout this process, we have tried to find a solution that raises standards for teachers in this district and improves education for our students. Our teachers are amongst the lowest paid in the state of Ohio, and we are striving to make reasonable steps forward for the families that live and work in this district. We are committed to working with the board to address our outstanding issues,” Megan Evans, acting ICEA president, said in a prepared release.

Negotiations between the board and the district’s education association have been ongoing for nearly five months. The previous agreement expired in August and the board since reached three tentative agreements with the district’s education association’s negotiating terms on Sept. 5, Nov. 6 and Nov. 25. All of the offers were rejected by the ICEA.

According to Superintendent John Rocchi, the board feels as though it offered a proposal that is “fair to the staff, the district residents and the students.”

The current offer includes the following: Staff will receive a 1 percent salary increase on the base retroactive to Sept. 1 and a 2 percent salary increase effective next Sept. 1; upon receipt of any bonus in connection with the signing of an oil and gas lease, 7.5 percent of such revenue will be set aside and divided equally among all bargaining unit members and paid as a stipend; teachers may create online courses with prior approval of the superintendent at a rate of $1,000 per course; each bargaining unit member will pay 6 percent of the premium for coverage under the district’s medical plan; and the implementation of a teacher evaluation policy in accordance with the standards-based statewide teacher evaluation framework adopted by the state board of education in November 2011.