Mansfield Board And Staff Clash Over Contract Disputes

  • 10/16/2018 8:27:46 PM
  • Jesse Smith
  • Local News

MANSFIELD, OH - At Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting, members of the Mansfield School Employees Association crowded the room to hear what could be done about staff contracts after several months of negotiations. The negotiations started in May, with neither side budging on terms.

"We still do not have a contract," said Amanda Clawson, Second Vice President of the Mansfield School Employees Association (MSEA). "We are very concerned with the proposals that the Board has made. They tried to wipe out two-thirds of our contract in the first round, and we have made very little progress since then. The teachers are concerned. We're ready to settle our contract. You know, they want us to do more and more work, with less and less and less. We've gone without pay raises when the district was in financial struggles, and now that they are back into financial stability, we're ready for them to treat us fairly as well. We're just asking them to look at what's being proposed, and settle our contract."

Clawson made an impassioned speech during the public comments portion of the meeting, earning her a round of applause from the packed room. Afterward, Board Member Renda Cline responded to Clawson's comments and gave the people gathered more hope, saying, "We know that you are what makes everything happen. Please understand that we definitely do know that, and we are going to do what's right."

After the meeting, Clawson drew everyone's attention to the numerous canned goods that were stockpiled in the hallway before the meeting began, and explained what they were there for.

"We asked our teachers to keep track - for two days - the number of hours that they spend outside of their contractual time," Clawson said. "For every hour they spend doing school work outside of that time, we asked them to bring a can of food. Those cans will be donated to local churches and the Harmony House."

The number of canned goods made an impactful statement on both Board Members and other members of the public who attended the meeting, while simultaneously donating to a good cause. While the contract negotiations are still ongoing, Tuesday night's meeting was a hopeful indicator of good things to come to local educators.

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