Tipp teacher contract vote fails

Staff reports

TIPP CITY — The vote on the first Tipp City Education Association contract has failed after more than six months of bargaining.

Members of the newly formed TCEA voted last month on their first contract with the Tipp City Board of Education, which reportedly failed over a disagreement on binding arbitration and fair share dues.

“I’ve been told disagreements about salary and benefits may defeat a contract. This wasn’t the case with Tipp teachers.” TCEA president Heather Yunker said in a statement. “TCEA members are looking for respect and a secure working environment through binding arbitration and fair share.”

With 88 percent of TCEA members participating, the vote was 90 percent against and 10 percent in favor of the tentative agreement, according to a statement from the association.

The TCEA reports that exit polling indicated that salary and benefits were not the primary reasons for the defeat. TCEA members had the opportunity to attend three question and answer sessions and received a copy of the draft contract six days before voting.

The majority of questions asked by members during these meetings had little to do with salary or benefits, the statement said.

“By creating a fair contract comparable to other county schools, Tipp will continue to attract and retain quality educators,” Yunker said. “Teachers searching for quality positions are not just looking at salary. Tipp City Schools lost over 60 teachers in the last four years. I fear that this trend may continue without a contract resolution.”

Having voted down the first contract, the TCEA and the board will need to work out a new agreement and take another vote.