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YEA chief to teachers: Expect layoffs

Published: Wed, April 25, 2012 @ 12:09 a.m.

By Denise Dick



The president of the city teachers’ union cautioned members to prepare for layoffs and advised some to begin looking for new jobs.

“The board will be changing the posting dates and the method of posting” for positions, Will Bagnola, president of the Youngstown Education Association, wrote in an email last week to the membership. “The board will not be honoring seniority in filling vacancies and assigning YEA members; board-action on a RIF [reduction in force] will not be done by April 30th; and, our class sizes will be increasing.”

Though the school board last week renewed the contracts for several union members on limited contracts, that doesn’t mean those members’ jobs are secure, the union president warned in the email.

“A word of caution: because one was renewed and has a contract for next school year does not mean that that contract cannot be suspended!” he wrote. “In other words, there is going to be a RIF, and teachers on limited contracts are the first to be laid-off. Don’t be passive and wait for the RIF; LOOK FOR ANOTHER JOB, NOW!”

Superintendent Connie Hath-orn said class size will increase from a 15-1 student-teacher ratio in kindergarten and first grade to an 18-1 ratio.

For second through 12th grades, it will increase from 24 or 25-1 to 27-1.

Hathorn met last week with Bagnola and an Ohio Education Association representative.

Bagnola said that RIFs weren’t discussed specifically, but they are expected.

“If you lose 400 students, how do you not lose staff?” he said.

The district lost those students — and about $4 million in state funding that goes with them — to charter schools, open enrollment and other educational options.

Hathorn said that any RIFs that may occur will be done based on seniority. But assignments and vacancies will be filled based on the best person for the job rather than seniority, he said.

Job postings will be done through the district’s website to make things more efficient, the superintendent said.

Recommendations for cuts required because of the loss of the $4 million in state money may come at tonight’s school board meeting.

Last year, the city schools academic-distress commission approved several resolutions restoring management rights to the district.

The district and YEA reached a memorandum of understanding establishing the procedures to be followed if the district decides to exercise rights it believes were restored.

First, it allows YEA to challenge the district on whether the rights it wishes to exercise were restored to it. It provides a method to determine if there are effects to YEA members of the district’s exercise of its restored rights and provides a method to bargain the effects of the district’s decision.

YEA agrees that the management rights it wants to exercise were restored by the ADC, Bagnola’s email says.

“We also believe that there will be effects to our wages, hours or terms and conditions of employment created by the board’s exercise of its restored rights, and we believe that those effects must be bargained with us.” the email says. “Management does not believe that effects-bargaining is necessary in its exercise of these restored rights, except over reduction in force and recall.”

The next step is to request mediation through the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

“YEA will continue to fight so that the effects on the terms and conditions of our employment of those actions of the board are as fair to us as possible,” Bagnola’s email says.


1JME(802 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Whoa, what a minute. I thought only the passage of SB5 would cause layoffs and an increase in class size.

The Anti-SB5 ads claimed that Collective Bargaining protected pupil/teacher ratios.
As soon as cuts have to be made do the teachers accept cuts to preserve pupil/teacher ratios or do they sacrifice their youngest members (thus driving up the pupil/teacher ratios)?
The answer is obvious. Layoffs were inevitable when SB5 went down. That is completely counter to the message the unions put forth in the anti-SB5 campaign.

Of course the liberal response will be to keep the State of Ohio in an $8 billion deficit to maintain the status quo.

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2Silence_Dogood(1675 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Will the last one out please turn off the lights.

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3DwightK(1537 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Classes sizes of 27 - 1 are why people pull their kids out of Youngstown city schools and send them to surrounding communities.

Except Poland, of course, where they are doing something similar.

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4Westsider(269 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

I would hate to be the one to say I told you so --- but I did when all the hysteria over SB 5 was out there ---- teachers mobilized to defeat the measure while making sure they were under the radar and the police and firefighters were at the forefront of the opposition. Well guess what, it takes money to pay people and the safety forces are also facing cutbacks --- but SB 5 was a bad idea?

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5soupcity1(13 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

so why is this email being made public knowledge? lol

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