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OAPSE union files grievance against Dawson-Bryant district

COAL GROVE — This year’s free summer lunch program was not a success for the Dawson-Bryant Local School District and the local Ohio Association of Local School Employees (OAPSE) union has filed a complaint with the district claiming the program displaced its workers, Superintendent Dennis DeCamp said at Monday’s board of education meeting.

In past summers, DeCamp said, the school district offered summer meals to students in need, but the turnout was so low, thousands of dollars was lost on the project.

“We decided to not do it (this year),” DeCamp said. “The (Scioto) CAO approached us and they did come in and they tried it. They were not successful. At least they gave it a try.”

DeCamp said the district’s union, OAPSE Local 29, filed a grievance stating its kitchen staff was displaced from the jobs this year’s summer food program would have provided.

“We have a lot of kids who struggle to eat in the summertime,” DeCamp said. “… They don’t approve of it because they say they were displaced.”

Union officials say they support the summer program.

“We are not opposed that they had the food program,” said Karen Bailey, OAPSE field representative. “It was an issue of who was serving the food.”

Bailey declined to comment further about the grievance and said the union was “waiting to seeing how the board responds.”

Through federal grant funding, the Scioto CAO brought free summer meals to several sites in Lawrence County, including Dawson-Bryant elementary and the middle/high school complex. Both sites were closed during the program for lack of student participation.

The meals were prepared at the Ironton Middle School cafeteria by its kitchen staff and distributed to the sites by the Workforce Development Resource Center’s summer youth program.