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Cleveland Heights-University Heights teachers union declines ‘last, best, final’ contract offer, with more talks set

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UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio — The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education and district teachers are set to return to the bargaining table Nov. 5 after the union overwhelmingly rejected the latest contract offer last week.

What was implemented by the school board on Sept. 29 as the district’s “last, best and final offer” was voted down by the nearly 500-member Cleveland Heights Teachers Union by a tally of 437 to 11, with one abstention.

There were also 41 members who either did not return their ballots or turned them in late. Factoring them in as well, that worked out to 89 percent of the membership voting to decline the board’s offer, CHTU President Karen Rego said.

“Of the ones who voted, it was 97.5 percent” rejecting the contract offer and further authorizing the American Federation of Teachers Local 795 executive board to strike.

That, in turn, would require a 10-day advance notice of intent to strike being presented to the school board, which has not happened. Another round of negotiations has been scheduled.

“We are planning to negotiate Nov. 5, so that is positive movement,” Rego said. “We always want to stay at the table until we come to an agreement.”

While the school board voted to implement the one-year contract so that it would otherwise go into effect on Jan. 1, board President Jodi Sourini said earlier that the district remains under a “continued duty” to negotiate.

“We will also meet any continuing bargaining obligation in the event the union shows a willingness to make meaningful change,” Sourini said on Oct. 2.

The teachers union remains receptive to surmounting the impasse that the school board cited in its Sept. 29 contract vote.

“In order to come together, both sides are going to have to come up with a creative

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Bharti Foundation in talks with potential partners for tech support across education initiatives

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Bharti Foundation on Friday said it is in talks with potential partners for technological support across its education initiatives, as the philanthropic arm of Bharti Enterprises looks to bring in new tech tools to aid students in learning amid pandemic, over the coming months.

Bharti Foundation Chief Executive Officer Mamta Saikia said focus in the next few months to a year will be on strengthening content, including online digital repository, bringing smart TV-based teaching into classrooms (for which plans are underway), and further streamlining virtual pedagogy and processes.

Established in 2000, Bharti Foundation implements and supports programmes in primary, secondary and higher education as well as sanitation. The flagship Satya Bharti School Program provides free quality education to thousands of underprivileged children in rural India across six states, with a focus on the girl child.

The impact of quality education has been scaled up by transferring the learning and good practices of the programme to lakhs of students studying in government schools across several Indian states and union territories, through the `Satya Bharti Quality Support Program’.

Satya Bharti Abhiyan, the sanitation initiative since 2014, has been improving sanitation conditions in the districts of Punjab by providing access to toilets and by fostering behavioral change in communities.

The Foundation says its various programmes have cumulatively impacted over 2 million community members.

“On the education side, we are in discussion with corporate partners for technological support. We are in touch with many IT companies to support new tech requirements of teaching-learning in our schools, and hope some of those discussions will conclude in the next 1-2 months,” Saikia told PTI.

Bharti Foundation will maintain its budget at about Rs 100 crore this year, to support its existing programmes as also expenses around sanitisation in schools, shift to

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Opinion | Alexander Vindman Talks With Kara Swisher About Trump and Speaking Out

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Alexander Vindman — war hero, European affairs expert, lieutenant colonel in the Army — had lofty dreams of serving the United States. But a call he heard between President Trump and Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, gave him pause. Little more than a year after taking a job at the White House, Colonel Vindman testified before Congress regarding the Ukraine scandal, and was a key witness in the impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump.

Now retired, citing bullying by the White House, Colonel Vindman tells Kara Swisher he doesn’t regret testifying. But what drew him to the White House in the first place? Why did he speak up when so many others haven’t?

Times Opinion is teaming up with Kara Swisher on a new podcast about power and influence. She’s taking on chief executives, senators, actors and activists — plus upstarts and gatekeepers you might not yet know but need to hear from. How did these people get power? How do they actually use it? And how does their power shape your life?

Every Monday and Thursday, from New York Times Opinion.

Listen to the trailer.

Kara Swisher (@karaswisher) has been a contributing opinion writer for The Times since 2018. She is an executive producer of the Code Conference and editor at large at New York Media. She was a co-founder of Recode and The Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital.

“Sway” is produced by Nayeema Raza, Heba Elorbany, Matt Kwong and Vishakha Darbha and edited by Adam Teicholz and Paula Szuchman; fact-checking by Kate Sinclair; music and sound design by Isaac Jones. Special thanks to John Guida, Liriel Higa and Kathy Tu.

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