According to recent coverage by ABC 5, the Cleveland Heights Teacher’s Union (CHTU) spent months negotiating with the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District Board and had already notified the board its members voted to go on strike beginning Dec. 2.
Happily, that necessity was averted when the two parties reached an agreement on Dec. 8.
The battle wasn’t about worker safety or improving education for students during COVID-19, however. Instead, the teachers were fully prepared to strike over wages and healthcare compensation.
Mind you, CHTU members already have no co-pays, no deductibles, no office visit charges. Board President Jodi Sourini stated, “Our district is in a very grim financial situation due to several factors beyond our control and, frankly, our community can’t afford it anymore.”
To add insult to injury, CHTU acknowledges the district will lose more than $9 million in one year alone, but still refuses to compromise as it banks on the financial assistance proposed in legislation that still sits unapproved in the Ohio Legislature.
Throughout the coming weeks, the Freedom Foundation will be educating CHTU members and stands ready to guide them through the expected wave of employees who realize their union has given them nothing more than lost wages, lost health coverage and extreme headaches over the holiday season.
These union strikes indeed present serious administrative challenges for school districts already treading water due to the pandemic, but it is also important for the Freedom Foundation to point out that unions do not care to contribute to maintaining strong school systems, which are vital in protecting and supporting our next generation.
Children, especially in urban areas like Cleveland, need to be in class not just to learn, but for emotional support, counseling and sustenance. Some even need reprieve from domestic violence situations.
There is no blueprint for how to navigate through a pandemic, but students and families are suffering. And when they have nowhere else to turn during these unprecedented times, the schools need to make their students their top priority.
Consequently, any talk of a union strike is nothing more than an effort to exploit an already-dire situation.
With public unions, it’s not “if” but “when” they choose to throw a fit with their school districts, and the outcome always seems to prove they’re fueled by money, not concern for educating our youngsters.
CHTU has encouraged teachers to abandon their classroom and abandon its students, leaving those children and parents to suffer. CHTU has proven it only exists to increase costs for taxpayers, jack up dues for its members and pay themselves bloated six-figure salaries.
At what point will teachers’ unions, such as CHTU, show some humanity and put the kids first?
Apparently, a pandemic doesn’t matter, nor does the violence and dangers some children risk exposure to, perhaps even similar to the child who died in California, matters enough to this union’s bottom line.
Just take a look at their actions and take a look at what they really want — your money.