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Columbus Board of Education Statement Regarding Negotiations with Columbus Education Association - Fact Sheet on Last, Best and Final Offer

August 19, 2022  -- The Columbus Board of Education presented its last, best and final offer to the Columbus Education Association (CEA), after 22 bargaining sessions over five months. It is a strong offer. It’s responsive to the concerns that have been raised. The offer is respectful and reflects how important our teachers are to our district.

The offer can be viewed by clicking here or seeing the attachment below. It should be brought to CEA members for a vote. Below is a summary:

A Guarantee of More Money for Teachers and All CEA Members

  • Guaranteed raises of 3% annually for three years.
  • A $2,000 per CEA member retention and recruitment bonus. 
  • By the end of the contract, a teacher who in the most recent school year earned the district’s average salary of $74,000 will earn more than $91,000 – a 23% increase from the start of the contract.
  • Starting teachers will earn over $50,000 in the first year of the contract – with that paycheck quickly growing from the guaranteed annual raises. 

A Commitment to Fixing Air Conditioning Issues 

  • A letter included with the last, best, and final offer specifies that the Board of Education has contracted and/or committed funds to install air conditioning in every school except for Mifflin Middle School, which has central air in about 50% of the building and is targeted to be replaced by a new middle school in the district’s proposed facilities master plan.  

A Commitment to Smaller Classes in Grades K-5

  • Class sizes for kindergarten through 5th grade will begin to be reduced in 2022-23 with no classes of more than 28 students, and class sizes will continue to be cut until the maximum class size is 27. 

A Creative Approach to Paid Leave for New Parents  

  • The Board is offering paid family leave never before available. For the birth parent and in the case of adoptions and foster placements, the teacher may take 30 days of leave, and much of that paid leave can be taken without using sick leave. 

More Help for Students From More Specialists 

  • The last, best and final offer includes an agreement – technically called a memorandum of understanding – to hire 25 additional full-time nurses, behavioral specialists, school psychologists and speech language pathologists in fiscal years 2024 and 2025. The agreement also specifies that all 25 new employees will be CEA members. 

More Time for Teachers to Plan

  • An agreement in the last, best and final offer gives teachers a day dedicated to planning, with students not in schools, for each of the 2023-24 and 2024-25 school years. Teachers may work remotely that day, and the planning days are timed to provide one four-day weekend in February of each school year.