Teachers at Menlo Park Academy await court decision on union election

Ohio Federation of Teachers (OFT) President Melissa Cropper joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss efforts to organize teachers at charter schools.

Despite nearly unanimous employee support to unionize, the administration of Menlo Park Academy, a charter school in Cleveland, challenged whether their employees’ vote to unionize should be handled by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) or the State Employee Relations Board (SERB). Cropper said the union vote taken by employees at other charter schools have been handled by the NLRB. She called the administration’s decision to challenge the jurisdiction “a delay tactic.” The Menlo Park teachers are currently awaiting the court decision.

Currently, the OFT represents employees at eight charter schools. As charter school employees see the successful organizing efforts at other schools, more are choosing to organize, Cropper added.

Cropper also spoke about Reading Opens the World, a reading initiative launched by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). The campaign’s goal this year is to get a million books into the hands of school children. Despite digital technologies that can distract children’s attention spans, children embrace and love reading when given the opportunity, she said. The campaign strives to encourage a love of reading by expanding home libraries.

Lastly, Cropper discussed the lack of uniform enforcement of COVID-19 protocols in Ohio’s public schools. Schools that mask and test regularly tend to have healthier students and teachers and are able to remain open for in-person learning, she added.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more about these topics:


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