Dayton teachers union notified of upcoming temporary layoffs

Dayton Public Schools is planning a temporary layoff of some teachers union members, according to an email obtained by the Dayton Daily News.

Dayton Education Association President David Romick confirmed the union had been notified of a temporary reduction in force, but did not give further details.

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DPS Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli repeatedly declined to confirm or deny whether layoffs were upcoming, saying she never discusses personnel issues.

An email from Romick to a variety of DEA leaders, obtained by the Dayton Daily News, said discussions about the “temporary reduction in force” are ongoing.

“We are working full time and meeting multiple times daily with (the Ohio Education Association), district leadership and legal counsel around these issues to protect our members and uphold our master contract,” Romick’s email said.

The message said all union members would be able to take part in an online meeting Thursday afternoon to hear about updated developments and to ask questions.

Romick said Tuesday night that he did not have all the information yet on the number or type of layoffs that might occur. It is unclear how long any temporary layoffs might last.

Some DPS teachers in the arts and physical education areas posted on social media Wednesday that they had been notified their positions were on the potential RIF list. Not everyone receiving those notices will lose their jobs, as the union’s contract includes a multi-step process that takes into account seniority and evaluation ratings.

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Both Lolli and Romick declined further comment Wednesday afternoon.

The Dayton school district is scheduled to start classes Sept. 8, with students attending online for at least the first quarter. Lolli has said all students in a given grade level will watch the same pre-recorded DPS-created lessons each morning.

Then individual DPS teachers will meet online with their classes of students to provide additional instruction, answer questions and assist with work. Those teachers are supposed to work from their classrooms each day, according to district officials.

During Tuesday night’s school board meeting, Lolli told the board that teachers are currently scheduled to begin working this coming Monday, with training planned for the next two weeks. She did not mention anything about layoffs during the meeting. The school board did finish its meeting with a closed executive session to consider personnel issues.

One Dayton resident who sent in a comment to be read at the board meeting said she had heard rumors about potential layoffs. Board President Mohamed Al-Hamdani responded by asking people to “stop listening to the rumor mill.” Reached by phone after the meeting, Al-Hamdani deferred comment to Lolli.

No other local school district has publicly announced significant layoffs or furloughs as schools prepare to begin the 2020-21 school year.

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