COLUMBUS, Ohio — The week Ohio's largest school district is set to start the school year, thousands of teachers and other school workers are on strike.
More than 4,000 teachers and other education professionals in Columbus City Schools district are striking after 94% of the Columbus Education Association union members voted Sunday to strike after rejecting the school board's "last, best and final offer," the union said on Twitter.
This marks the first time they are striking since 1975, the union said.
"CEA is committed to bargaining for the safe and welcoming, properly maintained, and fully-resourced public schools Columbus students deserve," the union said on Twitter.
CEA is committed to bargaining for the safe and welcoming, properly maintained, and fully-resourced public schools Columbus students deserve.
— Columbus Education Association (@ColumbusEA) August 22, 2022
Last week, the union cited in its notice of intent to strike examples of what the strike was due to, which included a disagreement with the board on class sizes, and functioning heat and air conditioning in classrooms.
In a statement, the school board said they put together a "generous compensation package for teachers and provisions that would have a positive impact on classrooms," the Associated Press reported.
Last Sunday night, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther called for both parties to keep negotiating.
"The CEA and the school district must return to the table and get our kids back in the classroom. A responsible solution is within reach, but only if negotiations restart now,” the mayor said on Twitter.
2/2 The CEA and school district must return to the table and get our kids back in the classroom. A responsible solution is within reach, but only if negotiations restart now.
— Mayor Andrew Ginther (@MayorGinther) August 22, 2022
According to the school district's website, the school year will start on Wednesday as planned, but students will be taking classes online.
"We know this is not ideal, but we have an obligation to continue educating and supporting students despite the current circumstances," the district said in a statement.
According to the Associated Press, the district serves 47,000 students.