School Board Challenges Teachers to Go Public with Contract Offers

Union takes "vote of no confidence" in school leaders


The Strongsville School Board offered to make public its contract offer to teachers in a show of "transparency," hours after the teachers' union filed a 10-day strike notice.

School Board President David Frazee said both sides should post their offers on the school district's website to let the public see what teachers are seeking and what the board is offering.

"We're willing to do it," Frazee told a room full of teachers at a board meeting Thursday night. "But it sounds like the teachers aren't."

The challenge followed an hour of statements and questions from educators and parents, many lamenting that substitutes will be unable to offer quality education to students if teachers stop working March 4.

Some asked whether the district could find enough substitutes; others complained about the money the district is spending on an attorney to help with the negotiations.

Parent Helen Smith said the strike could seriously affect her daughter's scholarship chances if teachers aren't there to write letters of recommendation -- and teach her Advanced Placement calculus class.

"We are still in negotiations and it is my hope a strike can be averted," Superintendent John Krupinski said. "It is also our responsibility to be prepared."

Just before the meeting, the teachers gathered in the Strongsville High School auditorium for a press conference, where they took a vote of "no confidence" in the school board.

SEA President Tracy Linscott said the board is "trying to balance their books on the backs of their staff" and has presented a contract that would "slash" art, music and physical education in elementary schools and greatly increease class sizes.

The board has also "acted as if $3 million in concessions by the teachers (in the last contract) never happened," Linscott said.

At the subsequent school board meeting, SEA members said it is illegal to make the contract offers public, but board member Jennifer Sinisgalli said it is allowable if both sides agree to it.

Strongsville Patch will have more coverage, including video, of the School Board meeting and SEA press conference Friday.

Chapman Mom February 24, 2013 at 03:12 AM
Mark I also did see your post where you did post the following >>>>> I just love the one person on here that keeps saying now this was mentioned by more than 1 person and I even was listening to the radio yesterday where they were discussing it what is even stranger here is that you want to attack jean for what looked like normal sarcasm. she also noted the following >>>>>actually Mark made a good example here so its bad when she says something sarcastic to you , but fine when she says something nice
tom m February 24, 2013 at 03:17 AM
Mark ....I heard the same thing .. and some have said it was talked about on trivs show friday afternoon......the teachers union are not even denying it
Chapman Mom February 24, 2013 at 03:22 AM
wow that is actually scary, thank you for sharing this
Mark in Strongsville February 24, 2013 at 03:23 AM
Tom - I understand what you are saying... but I refer back to my earlier post: just because people are talking about it doesn't make it true.
Mark in Strongsville February 24, 2013 at 03:26 AM
No - she actually took my words completely out of context in the 'nice' post. These things will always happen by people who want to twist things to their advantage. The only 'nice' thing was that this time she didn't try to insult my intelligence. By the way - I'm pretty sure insulting someone specifically as she did is NOT sarcasm - it's just a lazy argument.
tom m February 24, 2013 at 03:29 AM
It also has not been disproved ...... but to your point..... yes you get the never walked on the moon people and the cheney/ bush blew up the twin tower rumors ............... but this seems to be the only number leaked so far (but hopefully) when they release the teachers wishes nothing close is being requested
tom m February 24, 2013 at 03:37 AM
mark then what did you mean ??? i thought it was a great comment.... about how the old school board operated (the good buddy system) When have the citizens EVER had a say in what politicians get paid? That statement doesn't make ANY sense! They get THEIR benefits and pay based upon what THEY decide they should make - and the ones in Washington are hardly ever there doing their jobs! this is how the old school board operated with lampert at the helm ex-teachers and teachers deciding on how big of raises and what perks to enhance with no oversight now we have a superintendent that is looking at everything and is using that evil word "no"
Mark in Strongsville February 24, 2013 at 03:40 AM
Tom - my only reason for saying anything re: what politicians get paid was in reference to this post by Myron Shibley: ... My parents liked their congressmen when I was a kid, so obviously, it is now completely rational for me to vote for congressional pay increases even though the fed. govt. is broke. You wanna argue with that rock solid logic as well?
lyn February 24, 2013 at 03:42 AM
WHOA, MARK - Why did you feel the need to put yourself in the same company as Linda, et al. when I was addressing those who had singled out specific people in their posts? These were not just comments saying they didn't like our comments, they were nasty, bullying comments directed at individuals, not a group. Were you intending to do the same in your comment, because, honestly, you weren't even considered in that post of mine. Did you have a bad day and come on here to take it out on others? Do you feel guilty about something? Take a deep breath!! And, IF you have been reading my posts, you will see that I give plenty of facts and figures and do discuss to the extent that some might consider ad nauseam, in addition to expressing my strong opinions. I hope tomorrow is a better day for you!
lyn February 24, 2013 at 03:43 AM
I like!
tom m February 24, 2013 at 03:46 AM
Mark then you must be a congressman, since you posted " it is now completely rational for me to vote for congressional pay increases" and since congress passes their own automatic pay raises by not voting to reject them ....you MUST be in congress
tom m February 24, 2013 at 03:52 AM
Lyn I do not understand mark 7-8 finger pointing posts and has yet to even give his opinion on the topic... except by saying everyone is " anti-teacher" To me nobody is anti-teacher but more anti pension pickup on pickup types
Mark in Strongsville February 24, 2013 at 03:55 AM
Sorry - I thought you WERE talking about me since I just signed up a couple of days ago. I was actually pretty surprised by your post, since I thought I was included in 'and others', and really looked back carefully at what I had posted and determined that I hadn't been bullying at all. So that was my misunderstanding. And actually - I had a GREAT day! I hope you did as well!
Myron Shibley February 24, 2013 at 04:16 AM
I'm gonna bet you wouldn't see him out wasting taxpayers money marching like a drone in a picket line. I love some of the pseudo-intellectual pro-socialism/communism comments below his story. None of those morons could ever answer the following questions: When has communism/socialism worked...ever? or Can you please give an example in the history of our world where a communist or socialist govt. INCREASED people's liberties/freedoms? Three available responses: 1) "uhh..well..uh...there was...uh..." 2) someone who thinks they are a lot smarter than they really are will do their best to cite people like Mao, Che Guevara, Stalin and point out the "positives" or their "accomplishments"...and will disregard the thousands of citizens murdered/dead either directly or indirectly by govt. 3) You'll get a full endorsement of the above mentioned people bc you'll be talking to someone who is openly communist/socialist. It makes a lot of scratch our heads to wonder how anyone cannot see the plain and simple logic in something like this. I truly believe we will see a society where so many sheep will be asking, when it's too late, "what happened? I didn't know this is what I signed up for?" I honestly can't believe how many people live their lives with their heads buried in the sand.
Mark in Strongsville February 24, 2013 at 04:29 AM
I honestly have to say my opinion on the subject is very complicated. In general I am in support of the teachers. I do NOT believe in the 'union busting' mentality that is the current trend from our embarrassment of a governor and those like him. I don't agree with everything unions stand for, since mostly they stand more for the unions themselves, but they do still have some benefits to their workers. Mostly I find it sad that as a society we have gotten to the point of ripping each other down as opposed to supporting each other. The middle class is fading fast and a widening gap between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots' is all that is replacing it. Teachers have basically the last middle class job that CANNOT be exported and I guess I would like to view it as a POSITIVE thing and should be fought for with all of our might. What's really sad to me is that as a society we have NO PROBLEM with sports figures and entertainers making MILLIONS of dollars and charging us more and more money to support THEM - yet we balk at trying to maintain a way of life for 'the common' people who are our neighbors and friends. These are people that REALLY have an influence over our children and how they think - not sports figures who your kids will more than likely never meet that have no allegiance to their community and will leave in a heartbeat for an easier road to a championship or more money.
Mark in Strongsville February 24, 2013 at 04:29 AM
(cont.) So - yes... I AM in favor of the teachers and their negotiations. I think Mr Frazee came across as pompous and arrogant at the meeting the other night and in the long run I truly don't think he has the well-being of the students in mind at all. To those on here who keep talking about the schools being a 'business'... I understand what you are saying - but they are public schools. It is our responsibility as members of this community to keep the school system strong to help our children be competitive in life. The main reason schools are failing has nothing to do with greed on the part of teachers - it's because the federal and state governments have failed to do their part and support them. We spend millions of dollars a day for a war by cutting the basic services and needs of those of our own citizens. That's just plain wrong.
tom m February 24, 2013 at 05:08 AM
well mark that was a page full ....... my only question is where will the school board find money to pay for the teachers raises over the next 2 years on top of skyrocketing health care costs (also taxpayer funded) these are however the same teachers that refused to sign on for "race to the top" so strongsville lost out on the grant of $400,000 the people posting on here are the source of any needed income (regardless of state funding problems) and another new levy will never ever pass
tom m February 24, 2013 at 05:12 AM
I will however let others respond to this comment that you mentioned........" I think Mr Frazee came across as pompous and arrogant at the meeting the other night "
Mark in Strongsville February 24, 2013 at 05:13 AM
Sorry Tom - you DID ask what my opinion was. :)
James Murphy February 24, 2013 at 07:11 AM
Well I see Mark is a redistribution of wealth liberal
James Murphy February 24, 2013 at 07:31 AM
lyn February 24, 2013 at 02:31 PM
Tom- RE:"To me nobody is anti-teacher but more anti pension pickup on pickup types" I think people in this city are quickly becoming "anti-Strongsville teacher" and may not be anti-teacher. People can only push so much before others start to push back. People can only say "MORE,MORE" so long before people others start to say "NO MORE". The Pendulum Effect.
lyn February 24, 2013 at 03:08 PM
OK, I'll take that one... RE: " I think Mr Frazee came across as pompous and arrogant at the meeting the other night and in the long run I truly don't think he has the well-being of the students in mind at all." "Pompous and arrogant"? Maybe people have a hard time recognizing a person being calm, respectful and dignified, and knowing what those words are, especially after witnessing the teachers behavior and comparing to them. "I truly don't think he has the well-being of the students in mind" And just who would be walking out of the classrooms, neglecting the students? Not the Board! Remember, there are 2 sides at the table, and one keeps wanting more of what is not available. So, who is dragging this out? The unrealistic teachers. Who has voted to leave their students? The selfish teachers! And just who is concerned about preserving funds for the students, because we all know there is only "x" amount of money and most of that goes for the teachers already. Answer - Not the teachers - they want at the expense of the students.
Mark in Strongsville February 24, 2013 at 07:32 PM
James - Yes I am a liberal and I have no problem admitting it. Redistribution of wealth? Not really... I feel the government we pay taxes has and obligation to us as its citizens - not to foreign countries whose only interest is our money and protection but hate us for everything else that we stand for. lyn - Yes... pompous and arrogant! He knew that it was not legal to present the bargaining proposals as he suggested but did it anyway in a moment of political grandstanding. As far as who is dragging this out - THAT would plain and simply be the lawyers! There isn't a lawyer ON THE PLANET that would come in and solve something like this in just one billable hour... not when they can milk it for hundreds of thousands! I truly feel we should take the lawyers out of the room and have the teachers reps and the board talk face to face without middlemen. That is not currently happening because the BOARD doesn't want to do that. They would rather hide, (yes - hide!), behind lawyers so that THEY don't have to take personal responsibility for the negotiations. They can just say, "we acted under the advice of our legal counsel".
Mark in Strongsville February 24, 2013 at 07:34 PM
To me - it's not negotiating for the board to, (effectively), say: "Here's our proposal and we aren't going to change a thing on it". That's stonewalling and completely unproductive.
Tracy Smith February 24, 2013 at 07:51 PM
Mark - Are we sure its the board who are unwilling to negotiate and saying take this, who knows what the SEA originally proposed as well. I have to say both sides sound guilty to me. Also I recall a post (I believe it was by Sville teacher) who said that teachers did not get pay increases for completing their Master degrees which is not completely true, I just read the notes from the Sept 2012 and low and behold documented in the notes where the approvals for raises for several teachers due to successful completion of their Master degrees. As you said earlier its complicated and it sounds like their is a great deal of blame to be shared. (and why am I reading through old board meeting minutes, I am trying to make an educated decision about all this and I am sick of my children, my neighbors children and all the children in the Strongsville system being used as a bargaining chip in this)
tom m February 24, 2013 at 08:00 PM
Mark yes that would be a great Idea..... just have 4 Strongsville teachers meet with 4 board members and come up with a deal, then let the 4 teachers take the agreed upon proposal right to the teachers without consulting the union first,............... thus keeping the lawyers and the union out of this.........
tom m February 24, 2013 at 08:03 PM
Mark, another example of political grandstanding is filling a board meeting up with mainly teachers and family members ............and allowing 7 to 8 year old kids to be holding up union signs
tom m February 24, 2013 at 08:06 PM
And Mark this statement i agree with you 100% " I feel the government we pay taxes has and obligation to us as its citizens - not to foreign countries whose only interest is our money and protection but hate us for everything else that we stand for" but in this case we are talking about the proper use of our levy dollars
Mark in Strongsville February 24, 2013 at 11:55 PM
Tracy - you are right. I don't know what either proposal is. But I think negotiations would be best served without lawyers trying to get their cut. Let the board and teacher reps WORK something out and then give it to the lawyers to make sure it conforms to all of the legal mumbo-jumbo. Tom - I understand re: the levy dollars. As I recall some thirty-odd years ago the supreme court deemed how Ohio funds it schools was illegal... but I don't believe anything ever really changed about how we did it. My frustration is with the federal and state governments that are leaving us all out to dry. If they took THEIR responsibilities seriously we wouldn't really be in this mess to begin with.


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