Members of the Claymont Education Association are showing their support for their OAPSE co-workers on strike. (OAPSE Local #390)
Dennison, Ohio - Claymont teachers are speaking out on the impact of the district’s ongoing labor strike as they throw their support behind their OAPSE co-workers.
The Claymont Education Association issued a statement Thursday urging the district’s board of education to return to the bargaining table and put an end to a situation they say is negatively impacting students.
CEA President Dalyn O’Connor said in the statement that Claymont students are suffering in the absence of their OAPSE co-workers including teachers aides, custodians and cafeteria workers. She says students are losing up to two and a half hours of instructional time each week that the strike goes on due to early dismissals.
District officials in a FAQ posted Thursday on the Claymont website said they are ensuring that the schedule meets the state requirements for completion of a school year.
The Ohio Department of Education requires 455 hours of instructional time per year half-day kindergarten students, 910 hours per year for students in full-day kindergarten through sixth grade, and 1,001 hours for students in grades 7-12.
O’Connor also weighed in on the meals being provided to students, saying that nutritional, well-balanced breakfasts and lunches have been heavily impacted by the strike. She noted that for some students, these are the only meals they may get in a day.
Students are still being serving cereal for breakfast and peanut butter and jelly sandwich pockets for lunch, but district officials say those options meet the state’s nutritional requirements.
O’Connor in her statement also says that students were expressing concerns about the replacement teachers aides that have been coming into their buildings. She said the situation is creating stress and anxiety and impacting the learning and social/emotional environment for students.
District officials say they have heard no such concerns from the students. They say the situation is no different than when substitutes fill in for teachers and other staff members when they are absent. They maintain that the replacement teachers aides are all credentialed and have undergone background checks.
Claymont's OAPSE workers have been on strike since March 22nd, with no word on when it might come to an end. District officials say they’re still waiting on the OAPSE members to vote on their last, best and final offer, but union officials say they still have some questions.