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Published: Thursday, 5/15/2008

TPS, union receive report by fact-finder

Toledo Public Schools administration and Toledo Federation of Teachers leadership received a fact-finder report yesterday regarding a new contract.

Each has 14 days to vote to accept or reject the report's findings, which are not being released publicly until both groups have taken action.

Both the district and union have agreed not to publicly discuss details of the contract negotiations or the reasons for going to a fact-finder.

"We are still in negotiations. We are not going to hold negotiations in public," Superintendent John Foley said.

"We have worked collaboratively throughout this process to make sure the information is dealt with at the bargaining table and not in the media, in the public eye."

TFT President Fran Lawrence said there are scheduled times on Saturday for all union members to review and vote on the report.

She said she plans to ask for a strike authorization vote if the membership rejects the report.

If the union accepts it before the Toledo Board of Education votes, she plans to ask for a strike authorization pending the board's action in case it rejects the report.

Mr. Foley said the administration plans to meet individually with each board member to review the report. After each person has seen it, the board could decide to schedule a special meeting to vote.

The board's next regularly scheduled meeting is May 27, which is within the 14-day period agreed upon to take action on the fact-finder's recommendations.

The fact-finder met May 5 with the district and the union. The two sides have been negotiating the contract since March 17.

The existing contract, agreed to in 2004, expired March 31 after three extensions.

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