The Westlake Board of Education may implement its ‘last best offer’ to the Westlake Teachers Association at the June 13 BOE meeting.
The BOE now says negotiations have ‘come to an ultimate impasse.’
The Board released this statement about the offer on Wednesday:
After one full year of negotiation, the Westlake City Schools Board of Education presented the Westlake Teachers Association a “last best offer” that included salary increases, along with modest changes in health care. Over the course of the lengthy negotiation process, the union failed to present us with any viable proposal given our financial position. In fact, the union proposals would have caused us to continue to spend more than we bring in, which would have depleted our reserves in less than three years, putting us in the negative in 2019.
It is clear that we have come to an ultimate impasse. Therefore, the board intends to consider a resolution at the June 13 board meeting to implement our last best offer.
Our voters have told us time and again to make do with the funds that we have, and have rejected three tax increases. To accept any of the union’s proposals, we would be forced to make significant cuts to teachers, support staff, classroom materials and programming to balance the budget. Those cuts would impact student learning and force us to fall behind.
The Westlake City Schools Board of Education agrees that our teachers are extremely valuable, and that is why their average salaries are in the top 2 percent of all 612 school districts in Ohio. Despite claims to the contrary, we do provide a competitive salary and benefits package. In fact, we receive hundreds of applications for each job opening we post.
Throughout this process, the board has been committed to providing a fair and equitable contract for all parties on behalf of the students and taxpayers of Westlake. The board’s vote is the next step in carrying out that commitment to the stakeholders we serve.
The last best offer, as reported last month, includes “salary increases, along with some health care concessions to address those increases,” said the BOE last month.
Teachers have worked under the terms of an expired contract since Aug. 1. The board has said its contract offer included salary increases along with some health care concessions.
Should the BOE implement the last best offer, teachers will be faced with a decision to accept the new offer or move closer yet to a strike.