Strike Sympathizers Get Message from School Board
Absences of non-union employees won't be tolerated, resolution says
Strongsville school leaders are making it clear that if teachers strike March 4, other employees are expected to cross the picket lines and report to work.
The School Board passed a resolution Thursday night that says in the event of a work stoppage, all other employee absences must be substantiated by written proof, and that unauthorized absence could lead to dismissal, disciplinary action and/or loss of pay and benefits.
"It basically gives the superintendent authority to enforce our policies during a strike," Board President David Frazee said. "If you're going to take sick leave, you have to have a legitimate medical excuse -- that kind of thing."
The strike resolution says unauthorized leave would include "individual and/or collective refusals to provide service, unauthorized use of sick leave, unauthorized use of other leave benefits, non-attendance at required meetings and failure to perform supervisory functions at school-sponsored activities."
Those on strike are exempt from the resolution.
Unauthorized leave constitutes a breach of contract and could lead to termination.
The resolution also puts a spending cap of $200 per day on substitute teachers hired during a strike.
More than 300 teachers and supporters attended Thursday night's school board meeting, a number of them seeking to make public statements and question school officials about the lack of progress in contract talks.
Teachers have been working without a contract since July.
The School Board went into executive session after regular business was finished at the meeting, then came out and approved the strike resolution.