Mayor Calls for Teachers, Schools to 'Return to Bargaining Table'
Strike affects all of Strongsville, Perciak says
Mayor Tom Perciak is calling for the Strongsville School Board and striking teachers to resume negotiations within 48 hours.
"Bottom line, all parties need to re-think their priorities and return to the bargaining table," Perciak said.
School Board President David Frazee said Monday he believes it is typical to hold off on resuming talks after a strike is called.
"I'm told that usually, there's a seven- to 10-day cooling off period before negotiations resume," Frazee said.
He said it is up to the federal mediator to set up the next round of contract talks between Strongsville schools and the Strongsville Education Association, which represents 383 striking teachers, guidance counselors and psychologists.
But Perciak said the issue of a teachers' strike affects the whole community.
"Residents want the teachers in the classroom," said Perciak, who said he spent most of the day on the phone with upset parents. "I'm going to convey (to the board and teachers) what our residents expect of them."
Perciak said he has offered to assist in the negotiations in any way he can.
He added that Strongsville safety officials have expressed to both sides that they are expected to maintain "peace and good order throughout this work stoppage."
The mayor also said he believes schools should remain open during the strike, partly because more than 600 seniors at Strongsville High School will be graduating in three months.
"We need to get those seniors graduated," he said.
Board Meeting Canceled
Meanwhile, the School Board has canceled its regular monthly work session, which was set for March 7.
"We didn't think it would be a very good time to have a meeting," Frazee said.
Also, the board has filed an unfair labor practice charge against SEA members for allegedly forming a human barricade to prevent district officials from leaving a negotiation session, entering the building and chanting loudly, and pounding on a car.
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