Strongsville Teachers Shout at Subs as they Apply to Replace Them
More than 100 SEA members hassle potential substitute teachers
A large group of Strongsville teachers jeered potential substitutes as they applied for jobs at City Council chambers Sunday morning.
Shouting "scab" and "this is our house," the teachers lined the sidewalks in front of the Strongsville Police Station during an open application session.
Superintendent John Krupinski said at least 100 potential substitutes applied for positions in Strongsville schools starting Monday, when teachers are expected to begin a strike.
"They are being fingerprinted and undergoing a background check," Krupinski said. "No one goes anywhere unless they pass it."
Meghan Paris of Cleveland, who has been a substitute teacher for four years, said she was hassled when she walked in to fill out an application.
"This lady was screaming in my face, calling me every name in the book," Paris said. "They said I was taking their job. But you're striking -- I'm not taking your job."
The Strongsville Education Association, which represents the teachers, is expected to meet at 5 p.m. today to take a strike vote.
SEA President Tracy Linscott said the members were there Sunday morning to show the replacement teachers they were not welcome and show the community that the subs cannot fill existing teachers' shoes.
Linscott predicted that next week, "Strongsville City Schools is going to be a shell of what it once was.
-- See attached video for more from Linscott --
Police Chief James Kobak said there were no incidents of violence reported.
"It's very vocal," Kobak said. "But they are complying with our orders."
Also, reports of a substitute bringing a gun were false. Kobak said a resident went to the police station to turn in an old, unwanted handgun Sunday morning.
"It had nothing to do with the strike," he said. "It was just bad timing."
The SEA and school district failed to reach an agreement after an eight-hour bargaining session on Saturday.
Krupinski said the district's proposal, which seeks to convert a 9.3 percent pension pickup into salary, raise teacher contributions to health insurance 5 percent and eliminate yearly step increases, "reflects the economic realities."
"A district is mandated to operate with a balanced budget," he said.
Linscott, who said the School Board failed to negotiate in good faith during Saturday's session by leaving the bargaining table while a proposal was being drafted, said making the proposals public is illegal and the SEA will likely file a complaint.