February 5, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Cleveland, OH - Administrators at a Cleveland charter school have voluntarily agreed to recognize a teachers union, the American Federation of Teachers announced Feb. 1.
The decision at Northeast Ohio College Preparatory School came after 94% of staff signed cards in January saying they wanted to be represented by the Cleveland Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff, affiliated with the Ohio Federation of Teachers. The school, which has pupils from kindergarten through eighth grade, is the fourth Ohio charter school operated by I Can Schools to get a union. Staff at three others ratified their first contract last year, in which I Can agreed not to interfere with organizing at other schools in its network. “The voluntary recognition agreement with I Can should be held up as a national model for how charter-school administrators should respond when a majority of employees exercise their right to join a union,” AFT President Randi Weingarten said in a statement. The AFT now represents educators at 229 charter schools in 15 states. Read more