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Rally Urges Strongsville Teachers to Cross Picket Lines

Residents gather on City Commons Friday for counter-strike event

 

A group of Strongsville residents rallied on the City Commons Friday afternoon, calling for striking teachers to cross the picket lines and get back to their classrooms.

"We want to encourage the teachers to get back to school, to accept the contract and get past this," said Paul Komarek, who organized the rally. "We want the teachers to cross the picket lines."

Komarek, a former Strongsville resident who created a Facebook page to spread his message, said he believes the contract the Strongsville School Board is offering is fair, and said the strike "is really embarassing the community at this point."

"The union needs to stop all the intimidation and bullying because it's hurting our students," he said.

A rotating group of parents, students and concerned taxpayers stood at the corner of Royalton and Pearl roads from 3-7 p.m., holding signs and cheering as motorists honked their support.

Jackie Litz, whose grand-nieces and grand-nephew attend Strongville schools, said she and her husband are physically unable to stand with the ralliers, so instead she brought them fresh-baked muffins.

"These teachers are paid more than most others in the state," Litz said. "Their behavior is setting a very bad example."

While only three teachers are known to have crossed picket lines since the strike began two weeks ago, Komarek said he knows of nearly a dozen others who want to cross but are "afraid of repercussions."

He said the rallies will continue from 4-7 p.m. every Saturday until the strike is over.

UPDATED SATURDAY, MARCH 16: Negotiations Set for Sunday in Teachers' Strike

Meanwhile, the Strongsville Education Association has set a press conference for 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at the North Eastern Ohio Education Association offices in Garfield Heights.

The SEA asked all five school board members to attend a negotiating session on Saturday, but Board President David Frazee said the district's negotiating team will meet only when a federal mediator calls for a session. 

The SEA, in a statement, called that "stall tactics," and SEA President Tracy Linscott said "the board is refusing to negotiate."

The SEA and supporters held a rally on the Commons last Friday afternoon.

Related stories:

Teachers' Strike in Strongsville Day 12: Attendance is Up in Schools; Rally Set for Friday

No Progress in Strongsville Teachers' Strike

'Scab' Posters Turn Up Near Teacher's Home

Parents Want to Make Classrooms 'Happier'

Teachers' Strike Day 1: Picket Lines in Strongsville

Strongsville Teachers Vote to Strike

A Few Teachers Cross Picket Line; One Teacher Says She was Hit By Car

No New Talks Set in Teachers' Strike; Sides Still Far Apart

Second Striking Teacher is Charged

Strongsville Teachers Shout at Subs as They Apply to Replace Them

Strongsville Teachers Won't Honor Subs' Grades During Strike

School Board Files Unfair Labor Practice Charge Against Teachers' Union

Teachers' Union Criticizes School Board for Truancy Policy

200 Subs Now in Strongsville Schools

Picketer Arrested for Blocking Driveway

Strongsville AP Students Aren't Letting Strike Stop Their Learning

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Mark Kylemore March 16, 2013 at 07:58 PM
Sammie You are wrong on several fronts. It is the strikers who have shown hatred to this community after years of making them one of the highest paid districts in Ohio. It's a free market, let them take their talents elsewhere. Where is it written or guaranteed that we have to pay them at levels they demand. You are truly the fool as it is some of the strikers, including Tracy the buffoon who have resorted to tactics that have turned this community against them. Lets clean the slate and bring in some new young, hungry talent.
Terri March 16, 2013 at 08:58 PM
Amazed citizen - Actually, I was there, holding a sign (in the rain). And, I counted at least 80 participants on the side of the students & taxpayers (more continued to arrive after I quit counting). There were a total of six on the "Educator" side - it turns out that those individuals were not even from Strongsville. We know that because we spoke to them. Why is it that every time the weather isn't favorable, these striking "Educators" seem to disappear? Why don't you stop the insults & take time to discover the facts. Your antics diminish your argument.
Q March 16, 2013 at 10:11 PM
Huh? What did I do? Say?
Michael March 17, 2013 at 03:18 AM
Sammie near as I can figure you must actually be a Strongsville teacher as only a teacher would talk like you did in this forum. Only teachers hiding behind fake pseudonyms are speaking kindly of our beloved teachers in this forum for the past 2 weeks. Prior to March 4, 2013 I believe I can speak for all Strongsville residents in saying we respected and appreciated our 380 teachers. As of March 4th however they became gluttonous greedy disgusting and despicable and they're true colors rose to the top. As it turns out some of them don't care about the children they teach and money and benefits and shorter work days are more important to them. I've said it before and I'll say it again; I can live with their salary as I'm sure they earn it same as everyone else does but their Rolls Royce benefits and retirement package is just too unfair to the average private sector employee who pays $1000's more dollars annually for less benefits. And they can talk all they want about the hours they work. WE all work 50 hour weeks and we do it 50 weeks a year not 40
Mark Kylemore March 17, 2013 at 03:24 AM
Well said Rich, could not have said it better.

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