Press Release

AFT Statement on Cleveland Teachers Union Contract Ratification

For Release: 

Friday, May 31, 2013


Scott Stephens

Statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the membership ratification of a tentative agreement between the Cleveland Teachers Union and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. The new three-year deal was approved by the Board of Education May 14, 2013.

"This agreement is a promising start to a partnership with the district to improve teaching and learning. It is a good example of solution-driven unionism—using the collective bargaining process to do what is best for children and teachers. It also recognizes and values the voice and experience of educators in strengthening Cleveland's public schools.

"Our members recognized the important reasons for ratifying this agreement, and they recognized the incredibly hard work Cleveland Teachers Union President David Quolke and the negotiating team had done. The CTU and the district have shown what is possible when both sides are committed to a collaborative process that is focused on guaranteeing all children the education they need and deserve. This agreement:

  • Creates a new compensation system that recognizes the value and expertise of educators and rewards professional growth;
  • Provides extended learning and planning time to give students additional instruction time and teachers more time to share, to grow and to work together.  This is especially critical as Cleveland leads the way on implementing the new Common Core State Standards;
  • Recognizes the hard work and commitment of our members with an increase in
    compensation now and a one-time bonus when the new pay system is implemented;
  • Eliminates the practice of having 40 or more students in upper-grade classes; and
  • Creates a culture of collaboration that gives educators shared ownership and a voice in decisions that impact their classrooms and schools as the city moves forward with the Cleveland Plan."

# # # #

The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.