Congressman Tim Ryan Urges Management and Staff of Portage County Board of Developmental Disabilities to Return to the Bargaining Table

Nov 3, 2017

Ravenna, Ohio – Congressman Tim Ryan today urged the Portage Country Board of Developmental Disabilities to return to the bargaining table with the Ohio Education Association. Since October 4, 2017, the Service and Support Administrators (SSAs) have been on strike, expressing sincere hope that the Board will return to the bargaining table to negotiate in good faith. While negotiations are difficult, they can, and should whenever possible, be conducted within a normal working environment.

Ryan sent the following letter today to the Portage County Board of Developmental Disabilities. Find letter here.

Text of letter can be found below:

 

November 3, 2017

Mr. Ralph Kletzien

President

Portage County Board of Developmental Disabilities

Dennis M. Coble Administration Building, Board Office

2606 Brady Lake Road

Ravenna, OH 44266-1657

 

Dear Mr. Kletzien,

I write to offer my support for a quick and fair resolution to the ongoing labor dispute between the Ohio Education Association and the Portage County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

The history of American labor movement is largely marked by long periods of relative peace and cooperation. Understandably, the labor disruption is very perplexing and troubling to the workers, their families and constituents in the district. The negotiating process was created to prevent costly and unnecessary disruptions in labor and management relations. It also serves to maintain the fundamental dignity of working people, and provide management with a skilled and stable workforce.

Since October 4, 2017, the Service and Support Administrators (SSAs) have been on strike, expressing sincere hope that the Board will return to the bargaining table. While negotiations are difficult, they can, and should whenever possible, be conducted within a normal working environment. I understand that the community, specifically those served by Portage County Board of DD, are concerned about the current strike. Many of the clients and the SSAs have developed long-standing relationships and the strike has brought about undue stress and concern.

It is my understanding that the SSAs want to return to work without delay – to serve the people they have dedicated their careers advocating for. Workers above all want to be treated with dignity and respect – collective bargaining provides an avenue to reach a fair and equitable contract on both sides. I am hopeful that you and your negotiating team will return to the good faith bargaining process. Concerted and continuing efforts to reach an agreement will benefit the workers, the Board, and the community you serve.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Tim Ryan