Cuyahoga Falls school teachers have new three-year contract

Employees will see pay raises in each year of deal

Phil Keren
Kent Weeklies
The Cuyahoga Falls Board of Education is pictured at a meeting in early March prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The board on Dec. 2 approved a new three-year contract for the Cuyahoga Falls Education Association, which represents the district's teachers and several other categories of employees.

CUYAHOGA FALLS — The city school district's teachers have a new three-year contract with pay raises in each of the years.

The Cuyahoga Falls Board of Education on Dec. 2 unanimously approved a tentative deal with the Cuyahoga Falls Education Association (CFEA), which represents the district's full-time teachers, part-time tutors, speech and language pathologists, school psychologists, and school counselors.CFEA has 330 members.

The new contract has a start date of Aug. 2, 2020, and an end date of Aug. 1, 2023, according to District Superintendent Dr. Todd Nichols. The CFEA members are receiving a 1.5% cost-of-living pay raise in the 2020-21 school year, as well as a 2.5% compensation hike in both 2021-22 and 2022-23. On health insurance, CFEA members have a co-insurance cost of 10%, but that amount will increase to 15% in 2021-22, Nichols said. There were also increases in out-of-pocket maximums and co-pay minimums. Employees' health insurance cost contribution will remain at 12% of their premium.

Board Vice President Anthony Gomez thanked everyone who was involved with the contract negotiations.

"This is a really comprehensive and thoughtful contract," said Gomez. "I believe it benefits the board and I hope that the union feels that it benefits them as well."

The CFEA's members voted to approve the contract on Nov. 23, according to Melody Carlisle, the organization's president.

"It was a very difficult contract negotiation, lasting many months," stated Carlisle. "We were trying to negotiate a contract during an already strained time for educators, students, and families. We were finally able to come together on some outstanding items and reach an agreement that both parties could live with."

District Treasurer Kristy Stoicoiu said the pay raises will cost the district approximately $325,000 more in 2020-21, about $550,000 more in 2021-22 and approximately $563,000 more in 2022-23.

Update on other employee union contracts

This is the second of three employee union contracts that the board has approved. In early November, the board approved a new three-year deal with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1, which represents maintenance, custodial, cleaning, and transportation employees in the district. These workers also received a 1.5% pay raise in 2020-21 and a 2.5% raise in both 2021-22 and 2022-23, according to Nichols. Their health insurance contribution will remain at 12% of their premium. There were increases in out-of-pocket maximums and co-pay minimums. The contract runs from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2023.

The contract for employees represented by Ohio Association of Public School Employees Local 111 (OAPSE) will be presented to the board for its approval on Dec. 16, according to Nichols.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at pkeren@thebeaconjournal.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.