By LANCE MIHM
The Minster Teachers Association has filed the necessary paperwork
to go on strike if a contract with the school board is not reached
Co-President Tad Colbeck told The Daily Standard this morning
a strike could occur any time during the next couple of months.
“In order for the strike to be certified by the OEA (Ohio
Education Association), we need to go through a laundry list
showing we have met all legal obligations and have exhausted
all other reasonable options,” Colbeck said, adding that
association members met with the OEA and filed the paperwork
The 67-members of the Minster Teachers Association have been
working without a new contract for 111 days. The previous contract
expired July 1, so teachers have been working under the terms
of the old contract.
Contract negotiations began in early June, after original talks
were postponed at the request of the board of education, which
wanted to focus on the 6.5-mill operating levy that was approved
by voters in May.
Colbeck said the teachers are frustrated and have agreed to
numerous concessions, including huge cuts in benefits.
“We’ve accepted cuts, and we still have no contract,”
Colbeck said this morning.
School board members have a special meeting planned for Wednesday
to discuss the contract negotiations. The teachers association
has reserved a 30-minute block of time at the Oct. 28 school
board meeting and plans to address the board, Colbeck said.
The union is encouraging the public to attend.
“We are not asking people to take either side,”
Colbeck said. “We want them to come with an open mind
and listen and see the impact this will have on their children’s
The teachers’ association set up a fund at a local bank
Oct. 8, and said it was not a strike fund, but to get “positive
information out to the community,” Colbeck had said. The
fund will be used to pay for items such as buttons or advertisements
in newspapers, he added.
Colbeck stressed that it is still the union’s goal to
agree to a contract.
“This is something that we do not want to do,” Colbeck
said of a possible strike. “We want to attempt to avoid
a strike at all costs. But negotiations with the present school
board have not gone well, and we do not want to take any of
our options off of the table.”
Superintendent Hal Belcher refused to comment on the issue this