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Strongsville Teachers Move Toward Strike

Union votes to authorize a work stoppage within the next few weeks

 

Strongsville teachers took a step toward a strike Friday by voting to authorize a walkout if a contract agreement isn't reached soon.

The Strongsville Education Association overwhelmingly passed a strike authorization vote Friday at its general membership meeting.

The action allows the association to issue a legal strike notice if it decides it is necessary.

Teachers hinted at a strike Feb. 7 when several hundred staged a protest at a School Board meeting, all wearing buttons that said "I don't want to strike, but I will."

A news release from the SEA said the vote was taken "because the Board of Education refuses to negotiate in good faith. The board continues to back their employees into a corner with tired negotiating tactics aimed solely at breaking the backs of the teacher’s union."

“We are running out of options,” SEA spokeswoman Christine Canning said in the news release. “Despite our contract expiring in June of 2012, we returned to the classroom in good faith in order to serve the students of this community.

Canning urged residents to lobby school board members for a settlement.

“By not reaching an agreement after over nine months of bargaining, the Board is now forcing us down a very dangerous path that could lead to a work stoppage in the next couple of weeks,” Canning said. “In order to prevent this work stoppage, community members should immediately call board members and urge them to settle a fair and equitable contract.”

A website launched by the SEA says a "fair and equitable contract" means:

• Enough time in the school day to plan lessons, meet one-on-one with students, grade papers, respond to parents' questions and handle other duties.

• Manageable class sizes.

• Keeping art, music and physical education classes intact at the elementary schools.

• The ability to attract and retain quality teachers.

• Respect as valued professionals.

The site also recounts seven negotiating sessions between July 9 and Jan. 29, noting "No Progress" after each.

On Jan. 30, SEA declared an impasse, meaning future sessions would include a mediator. 

The SEA news release says a strike "may be the only option remaining to bring an end to the continued patter of outrageous, irresponsible, divisive and malicious behavior by the board."

“Today’s vote is a call to action to the board that the teachers of the district are invested in providing quality education to the children of our community,” Canning said. “But we have to protect our working conditions because they are ultimately our students learning conditions.”

SEA represents nearly 385 certified employees, including teachers, guidance counselors and special education interventionists in the Strongsville School District.

lyn March 05, 2013 at 03:04 PM
Lyssa- When people are - angry (as it is VERY apparent you are from your comment) - tired ( it was 12:04 in the morning) - drunk (example, Mel Gibson), they often say things they wish they had not and wish they could take them back. Those same people apologize and try to explain that they really meant to say something else, or say that's not what I really meant. Sometimes no spin can fix what is written or taped. What you said is definitely code for saying the "n" word. And it is reflective of what the teachers have done on their FB page "wall of shame" regarding the pictures of the subs and deleted comments. Those same teachers you idolize. I know you regret saying it - but you did.
Beverly March 05, 2013 at 03:05 PM
Lyssa, I'm proud to say,some of you young people have taught alot of we "old folks" alot too. I admire the fire & passion you have for that which you believe in. It' hard to make informed comments when one side or the other in this issue won't show all their cards so to speak. The teachers keep saying there are unfair items we taxpayers just don't now about-well, then tell us so we can "understand"! Apart from that it basically comes down to one main issue & that alone-there just isn't the money to fund all they want.I know they are used to great perks that they received when times were good & they don't want to give them back.But times are not good financially in our country & won't be for a long while,if ever again. We just don't know.What we do know ,from experience,is that when you don't have money,you can't spend money.That's all the board is trying to do,keep us fiscally sound. It is a hard job that no one likes. Don't the teachers think that if there was $ the BOE would do what it could? After all,it's in their best interests(and all of ours) to have good ,efficient teachers that keep our district excellent. Alot of the frustrations of many have brought out the ugliness-being constantly asked for more money to throw at a broken system when most have given all they can & are struggling to keep their heads above water. This coupled w/the issues of unions that don't even represent the best interests of all teachers-they "sacrificed" the jobs of some of their fellow....
lyn March 05, 2013 at 03:06 PM
And, unless you own a home, YOU do not pay real estate taxes which help fund the school. The 2% city taxes help pay for the police and fire.
Beverly March 05, 2013 at 03:08 PM
....teachers in the past,so that they could keep their jobs & benefits-is that fair? NO! Unions,at one time had a purpose & usefulness-they have no place in todays society,especially as it pertains to education/teachers. It's a very difficult situation & everyone has their own opinion, but please examine both side & try to understand both sides. At some point something will have to give because we can't go on like this .
Lyssa Gwin March 06, 2013 at 02:28 AM
Lyn-- I don't regret what I said, I just wish I worded it differently. If you want to read between the lines, fine. I can't stop you. I know I didn't mean it in a racist manner and frankly I don't care if you think otherwise. I'm not here to argue about race. I'm here because I deserve better; especially from people like you. Beverly-- Thank you for your intelligence and understanding attitude

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