What are the teachers in Austintown fighting for through their Union?
#1 – Improved Communication in the District
- Our District needs to respect the Voice of Professionals.
- Teachers in Austintown have a unique and informed perspective on how changes to educational policy affect our most valuable commodity – your children. Decisions must be made that positively impact the educational environment of our schools.
- Our District needs to respect the Voice of the Community.
- Where’s Freddie?
- Our District has spent money on a marketing firm from Toledo to attract students to our district. They decided that the AF logo is our official marketing symbol, not our cherished Freddie the Falcon.
- Where’s Freddie?
#2 – Fair Wages that Attract and Retain Quality Teachers
- Currently, Austintown teachers are virtually the lowest paid in Mahoning County, after several years of 0% increases.
- This will not allow the district to compete with other, higher-paying school systems as we seek the best and brightest new educators.
- We have already lost a number of prospective hires who took jobs paying considerably more than our starting salary.
- 50% of all teachers seek different employment within the first 5 years. We want to keep those excellent educators who have been called to the profession and who truly care about our students.
#3 – Improved Open Enrollment Policies
- While this is a point that we cannot negotiate as part of our contact, we certainly share your concern and would like to partner with parents in a dialogue about how to lessen the many concerns with the current policy.
- Austintown teachers understand that Open Enrollment has provided needed funds for the District; however, we need to institute more specific controls, ensuring student class size numbers do not climb too high, sacrificing quality education.
How can you help?
The members of the Austintown Education Association want to inform you about our mission for the students of this district. We know, as educators, how important it is to have the trust of the parents and of the community. Our current actions, which are a Union stance, are designed to make sure that Austintown continues the tradition of excellence that has been a hallmark of our district for generations. For that to happen, we now stand united, asking the Board of Education to do what is fair to all involved. First and foremost, we want the public to understand we do not want to strike. In fact, we have done everything in our power over the past 7 months to ensure that it does not come to that point. However, we have just voted to authorize our Bargaining Team to serve a strike notice, if need be. Again, if this happens, it is not because it is our wish; it is because we see no other way to maintain and gain ground in our fight for continued educational excellence. We are now asking for your help for your community and to take action as well, as parents, grandparents, and as concerned community members; please contact your Board of Education, asking them to do what is best for our kids and settle this contract fairly. Thank you.