CLEVES, Ohio (WKRC) - The teachers’ union in the Three Rivers School District supported a vote of “No Confidence” in the district leadership last week.
In a special school board session Wednesday night, the board went into executive session and agreed it would meet with the union to discuss the issues. However, board president, Chris Oser, says the members are not aware of specifics.
"It wasn't very detailed, but we are really looking to get to the specifics of the concerns so we can actually start working on addressing them with the union cooperatively," Oser said.
A union spokesman says the union cannot release specific issues to Local 12 because its contract prohibits airing grievances in public and doing so could lead to someone getting fired or sued.
Jason Hughes, a Three Rivers parent, was at the special session along with about a dozen other parents and some teachers.
"The teachers are great, and the community supports them. Never had an issue with any of the education my kids got. I love the district," Hughes said.
Hughes says he created a Facebook post about an issue he had at an open house weeks ago.
"From that night on, it's grown and grown and people have reached out, teachers and staff and cooks and bus drivers and the whole nine yards, just to tell me there is an issue within these walls and we need a voice," Hughes said.
Since then, Hughes says he has become the unofficial voice of the staff having issues.
"They are afraid to speak. If they speak, they are fearing retaliation and things like that, and it's just -- enough is enough. These people are here to educate our kids and that's what we want," Hughes said.
Superintendent Craig Hockenberry says neither he nor anyone else in the district has seen specific complaints.
"This came as a huge shock to our entire district, our administrative team. Nobody saw this coming," Hockenberry said.
Hockenberry says the district meets with the union monthly.
"I just printed off the last 16 agendas and including one from just a couple weeks ago and had no idea this was coming. So, we were very disheartened by this," Hockenberry said.
He also points out the union only makes up a little more than a fourth of the more than 300 employees in the district. He says not everyone feels the way the union does.
"A lot of them are confused as well, and they have been asking a lot of questions as well, which goes back to how anxious we are to meet with the union to clear this up so we can move forward," Hockenberry said.
"Do I think that they're going to do anything in good faith? They might have to now because the community knows what's going on. The community is done. They are upset and we want a change," Hughes said.
"I think if everyone comes to the table willing to listen, especially the board, if we're willing to listen and give full credence to their concerns, I guarantee you we can find common ground with that," Oser said.