Press Release

AFT Statement on Cleveland Teachers Union Tentative Agreement

For Release: 

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Tom Lansworth

WASHINGTON—Statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the tentative agreement reached between the Cleveland Teachers Union and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. The new three-year deal must be ratified by CTU members and the Board of Education before the agreement will take effect.

"This agreement recognizes and values the voice and experience of educators in strengthening Cleveland's public schools and guaranteeing every child the education she needs and deserves. It is good for students, fair to teachers and was forged through a deep commitment to collaboration and shared respect rather than conflict. This tentative agreement is yet another example of what is possible when both sides remain dedicated to the collective bargaining process to do what is best for children and teachers.

"Make no mistake, this was a challenging negotiation given the changes mandated by state law and the economic strain on the city. I commend Cleveland Teachers Union President David Quolke and the district for working through these challenges and reaching consensus on an agreement that will improve teaching and learning and will be instrumental in implementing the Cleveland Plan. This agreement:

  • Creates a new compensation system that recognizes the value and expertise of educators and rewards profession growth;
  • Provides extended learning and planning time to provide students with additional instruction time and teachers with 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;
  • Will eliminate 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."

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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.