COLUMBUS, Ohio – April 4, 2023 –Columbus City Schools Building Substitutes announced today that they have formed a Union with the Columbus Education Association. This afternoon, Building Substitutes filed authorization cards with the State Employment Relations Board (SERB) signed by a supermajority of the nearly 300 eligible educators, seeking formal recognition of their new union. The newest CEA members are the latest workers to join the post-pandemic Union organizing wave sweeping Columbus, alongside Starbucks baristas, cultural workers at museums and libraries, charter school educators, non-profit employees, and others.
“We are thrilled to join nearly 4,500 Columbus City Schools educators already represented by CEA,” said Alex Doherty, a Building Substitute at Indianola Informal K-8 and member of the Organizing Committee. “When we saw our colleagues on the picket line fighting for our students at the beginning of the year, it was clear to us that we also needed a collective voice to advocate for ourselves, our students, and our families.”
Building Substitutes are full-time District employees assigned to one of Columbus City Schools’ 110 school buildings who provide education to students during short and long-term teacher absences.
They are currently the only full-time, frontline employees in Columbus City Schools without Union representation. The Building Substitutes have requested voluntary recognition of their Union from the District utilizing the same SERB process as Safety and Security employees who joined their Union in 2022 and have already ratified a first contract.
“We are excited to welcome Building Substitutes into our CEA family,” said CEA President John Coneglio. “We fully expect the School Board to abide by the standard they established of respecting their employees’ right to organize, and we look forward to negotiating a fair first contract for Building Substitutes that will attract and retain the best educators to serve our students.”
The Columbus Education Association is the union representing nearly 4,500 teachers, librarians, nurses, counselors, psychologists, and other education professionals in Columbus City Schools. The Columbus Education Association is a proud affiliate of the Ohio Education Association and the National Education Association.