Columbus teachers strike for better working & learning conditions


@ColumbusEA on Twitter

Teachers in Columbus City Schools voted Sunday, August 28 to accept a new 3-year contract, and students returned to class on Monday, August 29.

Marta Bourget, Staff Writer

On August 22, conflict in negotiation between staff and board resulted in the Columbus City Schools’ staff going on strike for the first time since 1975. Approximately 94% of staff, alongside some students, picketed for better air conditioning and heating, smaller classes, an 8% pay raise and a more diverse curriculum that would include art, physical education and music.
During the strike, many people took actions to show support for the teachers.
Most students didn’t picket but instead showed support online. There were mandatory zoom calls attempting to supplement actual classes. Columbus City Schools freshman Melia Magassouba said that some of her friends “made posts and texted people ‘don’t join the zoom.’”
Participation in zooms was shaky due to parents and students showing support for the strike.
“[Parents were] thankful for the reasons [the teachers] were fighting,” said Melissa Magassouba, Melia’s mother.
However, support for the strike wasn’t unwavering. Extracurricular activities were not going on during the strike. The volleyball team that Melia Magassouba is on didn’t have any practices, scrimmages or games.
The main gripe of the strike seemed to be the unfavorable timing.
Melissa Magassouba was one of many upset since the board and staff have “had since March to come up with an agreement” and she wished that the strike didn’t interfere with the beginning of the school year.
Even with things lost, support seemed to go more towards those striking than the board.
“No teacher wants to not be in their classroom,” said Delaware City Educators Association representative Ariel Uppstrom. “[Teachers were] not being heard, and they [were] not getting what they need to support the [students] and their families.”

No teacher wants to not be in their classroom,

— Ariel Uppstrom

Early in the morning on August 25, the union and board reached an agreement. The agreement stated that by the 2025-2026 school year, class sizes and environments will be controlled in order to accommodate better learning.
Columbus schools went back to in-person school on August 29, 2022, which leaves many people, including Melissa Magassouba, “excited that they came to an agreement in such a short amount of time.”