Teachers in the Fairborn school district likely will start the school year without a contract in place, union and school officials said.
School representatives and union leaders met Wednesday for about an hour and no progress was made, according to Brian McWhorter, spokesman for the Fairborn Education Association and the Fairborn Classified Employees Association.
There are no more labor talks scheduled, school and union officials said.
The first day of school for teachers is Aug. 19 and students return Aug. 21. McWhorter said the teachers plan to be in the classroom when school starts, but “striking is always an option.”
“We understand the gravity of that action,” McWhorter said. “If the teachers and classified personnel decide to do that, we would do so with the parents and students in mind. We’re not asking for a raise. We’re asking for an environment where our students and teachers can continue to thrive. The board is jeopardizing that in a serious manner.”
Fairborn Superintendent Dave Scarberry and treasurer Eric Beavers both confirmed there was no progress made between the two parties, but declined to comment on the specifics of the negotiations.
“No matter what, come Aug. 21, we’ve got a bunch of children coming to school,” Scarberry said. “That’s my major concern right now — making sure we all can guarantee the children a great opening to the school year. That’s what I’m focused on right now.”
McWhorter said the school board is asking the unions to contribute $250,000 more in health care adjustments from the original proposal, raising the total to $1 million in savings.
The FEA and FCEA have agreed to pay freezes, larger class sizes and adjusting insurance coverage to lower the cost for the district, union leaders said. Teachers have been on a pay freeze since the 2010-11 school year.
McWhorter said the two other major sticking points are noon-duty aides and class sizes.
He said the school board wants to eliminate 16 noon-duty aide positions, which would save the district $120,000 per year. Noon-duty aides work 2½ hours a day, supervising lunchtime and recess at the elementary and intermediate buildings.
Also, McWhorter said the school board wants unlimited class sizes. The union has agreed to 30 students per class and an increase from 150 to 180 per teacher in grades six through 12, and an increase from 25 to 27 per class for kindergarten through fifth grade.
In late June, the Fairborn school board canceled three union contracts to control costs by preventing any automatic pay and fringe benefits increases, which led union officials to question the legality of the unprecedented move. The school board passed resolutions to not continue to be bound by the terms of the district’s collective bargaining agreements after they expired on June 30.
Canceling the contracts, which district officials said will save “hundreds of thousands of dollars,” impacted about 500 employees in the FEA, FCEA and Dayton Public Service Union. The school board and DPSU agreed to a one-year contract July 31.
School board president Tess Little, who did not return a message seeking comment, previously said the district is offering the FEA and FCEA similar one-year contracts.