HR Information for CEA Members

  • NOTE: The CEA and the Columbus Board of Education reached a conceptual agreement on August 25, 2022, which the CEA ratified on August 28, 2022. The information contained below and in all sub-tabs on the left is for archival purposes only.

    Students returned to the classroom in-person and full-time on Monday, August 29, 2022.

    As you are aware, CEA has filed a Notice of Intent to strike beginning on August 22, 2022. This message contains important information about what a CEA strike means for you and what you should expect during the strike. 

    Q: What is happening on Monday, August 22nd? 

    A: All CEA members are instructed to work remotely on Monday, August 22nd. It is up to each individual to decide whether to strike or work while CEA is on strike. If you intend to work during the strike, see the information below about how to communicate that information to the District. Do not report to your assigned building. Once you have communicated your intent to work, your building principal will contact you individually about work arrangements. If you are striking, you will be in an unpaid leave status and may not enter any District property or buildings or access District technology. 

    Q: Why is CEA leadership considering a strike vote?

    A: This is a CEA decision. The current CEA agreement expires at 11:59 p.m. on August 21, 2022. On August 18, the Board gave a last, best and final offer to CEA on a new agreement and hopes that CEA members vote to approve that offer so that a strike will not take place. 

    Q: How long will the potential strike last? 

    A: That decision is up to CEA; there is no definite duration for a strike. We sincerely hope that the teachers do not choose to strike. However, if they make that choice, we also hope that any strike ends as quickly as possible. 

    Q: Can I choose to work instead of participating in a strike?

    A: Yes. It is up to each individual CEA member to strike or to work. If you choose to work, you will receive all pay and benefits provided by law and the existing CEA agreement.

    Q: How can I inform the District if I want to keep working during the strike?

    A: Your building principal will contact you in the next several days about the process for informing the District you intend to work during the strike. If you have additional questions or concerns, you may also reach out to your building principal.

    Q: If I decide to work, where will I be working?

    A: If you decide to work during the strike, you will be working remotely. You will not have to physically cross a picket line in order to work.   

    Q: What is the status of negotiations?

    A: Negotiations have ended. The Board and CEA began bargaining in March 2022 and met 22 times. Unfortunately, the Board and CEA could not agree on a new CEA agreement. On August 18, 2022, the Board presented CEA with its last, best and final offer. More details about that offer can be found here.

    Q: Will I be paid if I choose to participate in a strike?

    A: No. Striking employees are not entitled to “pay or compensation”. If you strike, you will not be paid during the strike.

    Q: Will I continue to be provided with health insurance by the Board if I choose to participate in a strike?

    A:  No. Fringe benefits like health insurance are a form of compensation. All of your fringe benefits will be terminated at 12:01 a.m. on August 22, 2022. You will receive additional information regarding your ability to optionally continue health care benefits at your expense.

    Q: Will I accrue sick leave if I choose to participate in a strike?

    A:  No. Fringe benefits like sick leave are a form of compensation.

    Q: Can I use sick leave while participating in a strike?

    A: No. Participating in a strike is not one of the permitted uses for sick leave outlined in either Ohio law or the CEA agreement. If you choose to work during the strike and wish to take a sick day, you will need to follow the provisions outlined in the CEA agreement related to notification and justification for sick leave. Falsification of sick leave is grounds for discipline, up to and including termination.  

    Q: Can I use personal leave while participating in a strike?

    A: No. The CEA agreement states that any activity in connection with a strike is not a valid use of personal leave. If you choose to work during the strike and wish to take a personal day, you will need to follow the provisions outlined in the CEA agreement related to personal leave.  Falsification of personal leave is grounds for discipline, up to and including termination.

    Q: How will my absences be recorded if I choose to participate in a strike?

    A: If you do not report to work during a strike, and are not otherwise on an approved leave, your absence will be recorded as unpaid strike leave.

    Q: Will I be permitted on District property if I choose to participate in a strike?

    A: No. To ensure safety, District property and buildings will be closed except to authorized employees and parents and students picking up food and/or receiving technology assistance at the authorized support locations. Striking employees are considered to be unauthorized and will not be allowed on District property or in any District buildings. Picketing will not be permitted on District property. Blocking entrances or exits to District property will not be tolerated. Unauthorized persons will be reported to law enforcement for trespassing.  Employees participating in a strike are also not permitted to park in District owned parking lots.  Violators are subject to towing.

    Q:  Will I be permitted to access District software like my District email and Infinite Campus?  

    A:  No. Just like you are not permitted to access District property and buildings if you strike, you are not permitted to access any District software.   

    Q: What happens if picketers engage in violence or damage school property while participating in a strike? 

    A: The District will not tolerate violence or destruction of its property. As stated in Board Policy 7440, every effort will be made to apprehend those who knowingly cause serious physical harm to students, staff, and Board property and the District may recommend prosecution of such individuals.   

    Q: Will student learning occur while CEA is on strike?   

    A:  Absolutely. The Board will provide District students with an education through live, synchronous check-ins and asynchronous online resources.

    Q:  If I choose to work remotely, am I liable for a data breach related to student information/data? 

    A: Any CEA bargaining unit members working remotely shall make a good faith effort to protect student information and data, including reasonable security measures such as using password protection and physically securing the device. As long as you are acting in good faith to protect student information and data, you will be held harmless for any data breach.   

    Q: What if I need technology and materials in order to teach remotely?  

    A: Your building principal will provide you with information about obtaining the necessary equipment and materials. 

    Q: If I choose to work on August 22, 2022, can I later decide to go on strike?

    A: No. By completing the Intent to Return to Work form provided by your administrator and returning to work, you are indicating your intention to carry out all job duties as usual for the duration of the strike.

    Q: If I choose to strike on August 22, 2022, can I change my mind and return to work even if the strike is continuing?

    A: Yes, please contact your building principal about returning to work. However, once you return, you are indicating your intention to carry out all job duties as usual for the duration of the strike, and you may not change your mind again.  

    Q: If I have a supplemental position, can I choose to complete just those duties?  

    A: No. If you choose to return to work, you must return to all of your duties, including supplemental duties.

    Q: What do I do if I feel like I’m being bullied or harassed for my decision? 

    A: Please contact the District’s Compliance Manager at complianceofficer@columbus.k12.oh.us or 614-365-5143.  If you have concerns about the CEA meeting procedures or their communications, you may want to contact CEA directly.  You may also contact the State Employment Relations Board at 614-644-8573.