Columbus City Schools reaches tentative contract with union representing support staff

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The Columbus Dispatch

Columbus City Schools and the Columbus School Employees Association announced Tuesday they have reached a tentative collective bargaining agreement which includes raises and expanded benefits over the next three years.

The Columbus Schools Education Association (CSEA), which is a part of the Ohio Association of Public School Employees, represents more than 3,200 custodians, bus drivers, secretaries and other support staff.

The proposed three-year contract runs through July 31, 2026, and will go before the Columbus Board of Education for consideration next Tuesday. If approved, the contract will be signed and enacted.

The tentative agreement includes 4% salary increases for all CSEA members in the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 school years. The continued salary increases “are part of the District’s commitment to proactively address shifts in the economy and ensure employees earn competitive, livable wages,” the district’s release said.

All active CSEA members will also receive a $500 recruitment and retention stipend in December 2023, and another $500 recruitment and retention stipend in June 2024.

CSEA President Lois Carson said members “overwhelmingly” approved the contract because it “provides improvements across the board,” including the raises and bonuses, as well as health care updates and a streamlining of the promotion process.

“The new contract is a reflection of the respect the district has for the important work we do to help educate our students, and it shows that they value our critical contributions,” Carson said.

In addition to wage increases over the next two school years, the tentative agreement includes additional health care benefits, introduces work-from-home policies according to procedures adopted by the superintendent, and establishes new parental and family leave policies for all CSEA members.

Columbus City Schools Superintendent Angela Chapman said she is committed to “prioritizing the voices and needs of all employees.”

“This new agreement reflects that commitment, and it shows our District’s appreciation for the (CSEA) employees who play a vital role in the success of Columbus City Schools,” Chapman said.