Franklinton Preparatory Academy Teachers Join State’s Largest Educators Union In Historic Vote
COLUMBUS – March 5, 2015 – Teachers at Franklinton Preparatory Academy, a Columbus charter school, voted today to form a union in an election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The victory is contingent on the outcome of NLRB hearings on several uncounted ballots, but the union is confident that the ballots were cast by ineligible voters (including managers) and the result will stand. The new union, the Franklinton Preparatory Academy Educators Association (FPAEA), will be affiliated with the Ohio Education Association, the state’s largest union of education professionals. When the union is certified, Franklinton Preparatory Academy teachers will become the first educators at a start-up charter school in Ohio to officially join a union.
“We are excited to get to the bargaining table and begin negotiations toward a first union contract,” said Ryan Marchese, a technology teacher at the school and member of the FPAEA organizing committee. “By gaining a strong collective voice, we are furthering our school’s mission of providing the best education possible for all students.”
The decisive vote to organize comes despite an active effort to dissuade the staff from forming a union. This included numerous anti-union memos to staff, and one-on-one meetings in which teachers were discouraged from joining the union. Nonetheless, the teachers look forward to addressing concerns such as a comprehensive student accountability policy, resources for students, and professional respect as educators.
“We welcome the Franklinton Preparatory Academy staff to our union,” says Becky Higgins, OEA president. “We look forward to standing with them as they build a mutually respectful relationship with administrators and work towards a strong first contract.”
The Ohio Education Association (ohea.org) represents 121,000 teachers, faculty members and support professionals in Ohio’s public schools, colleges and universities.
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