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Strongsville Teachers' Union Launches Website

New site explains what a 'fair contract' means, monitors progress of negotiations

 

The Strongsville Education Association has created a website that provides the teachers' position on on-going contract negotiations.

The site tracks the union's journey through the process and explains what teachers are looking for when they say they want "a fair and equitable" contract:

• 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 will include a mediator. 

The last talks were on Feb. 6. "SEA submits another proposal to be met with superficial and cosmetic response," the website says.

Another round of negotiations is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 14.

Groups of about 300 teachers have shown up twice at School Board meetings, first filing in and standing silently, and the second time chanting outside. The teachers also stood outside the Jan. 29 negotiating session at Polaris Career Center.

The SEA has also made its first public statement, entering a comment on Strongsville Patch's Feb. 7 story on the second protest.  

The SEA also has a Facebook page.

Coop February 14, 2013 at 08:15 AM
Link to lookup Strongsville teachers salaries as public information from the state of Ohio http://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/teacher-salary
T Jefferson February 14, 2013 at 12:54 PM
Does anyone know who the bargaining representatives are for the school board side of the table in the negotiations (besides Dollar-Bill)? I thought I read somewhere in one of the comment threads that someone said that at least the names of the negotiators are not "classified" information. Who is Dollar Bill? What law firm does he work for? Does anyone know anything?
Ken McEntee February 14, 2013 at 04:58 PM
On the school board side: Superintendent John Krupinski, assistant superintendent Cameron Ryba, High School principal William Steffen, Chapman Elementary principal Andy Trujillo and the lawyer William Pepple - or, as the kiddies maturely call him, "Dollar Bill." My remark about being "unclassified" referred to the previous contract negotiations a couple years ago, when the district wouldn't tell the voters who was representing them at the table.
James Murphy February 14, 2013 at 05:43 PM
The school board must be serious about ending the gravy train if they have William Pepple representing us, I am sure there is no love for him from wapakoneta to brecksville All I can do is give a suggestion to the teachers---- wear leather gloves when holding up those strike signs those splinters from the wood hurt
T Jefferson February 14, 2013 at 06:28 PM
Thank you Ken for listing the players on the taxpayers side of the table, that is very helpful. How about the union side - have any names or know how many are at the table? I posted this on the other article >> since the contract negotiations are the discussion of topic of late, and we can't get information on what both sides are proposing (since it is confidential), does anyone have a copy of the last contract with SEA that we can look at and scrutinize? This would be a good point of discussion for the group to see what was negotiated and what had passed in the last contract. Could also give us some thoughts on what the school board might be looking at for this years contract. Just a thought. I thought, and I may be wrong, that this is public knowledge and should be made available to the public. No? Yes?
tom m February 14, 2013 at 07:28 PM
james you forgot to include firewood to burn in the "strike barrels"
tom m February 14, 2013 at 07:36 PM
After the January meeting, Tracy Linscott, president of the Strongsville Education Association, said teachers attended the meeting "in order to demonstrate our frustration with the lack of progress in negotiations. Tracy Linscott average salary $80,869.00 with 33,000.00 three year employee salary match on a 184 day workyear
lyn February 14, 2013 at 08:02 PM
tom- So, if Tracy Linscott's average salary is $80,869.00 and they convert 9.3% of STRS to salary, the new salary will be $88,390 before any increases? Well, at least no more pick up! How about that? $88,390 for 9 months work; for 184 days -thats $480/day. For even a 10 hour day, that's $48/hour. And only has to work 9 months to get better medical benefits than the rest of us and we pay more than he does towards the premium - which means the taxpayer is paying their own and some of the teachers share. Gee, I would be frustrated too if that's all I could squeeze out of the taxpayers.
TSW February 15, 2013 at 02:57 AM
I am curious........maybe I am missing something here.....if so, someone please let me know Question: How do our taxpayer CBA reps (ie school district "management level" employees) escape "conflict of interest" in these CBA negotiations- when they enjoy the same "targeted" exhorbitant perks and benefits (pension pick ups ,90% subsidized health care,etc) as the teachers ? Am I missing something here ? Why wouldn't NON school related BOE council reps(ie BOE council minus Brickley) be representing the taxpayers in these negotiations ? TSW
TSW February 15, 2013 at 03:00 AM
Good points T Jefferson ! I think you should run for BOE council next time a slot opens. Btw, are you a lawyer ? We will all vote for you ! TSW
PJ February 15, 2013 at 03:31 AM
Yes, it is public information. All Collective Bargaining Agreements are filed with State Employment Relations Board and available online. You can look up the Agreement here: http://www.serb.state.oh.us/sections/research/WEB_CONTRACTS/WebContracts.htm
Kim L February 15, 2013 at 03:53 AM
The Board shall be responsible to pay nine percent (9.0%) of the employee's salary to the School Employees Retirement System (SERS) toward the employee's required contribution. The Board shall "pick-up" nine percent (9.0%) of the employee-required contribution of members of the bargaining unit to SERS and with the Board having agreed to do so, the Board Treasurer is hereby authorized to contribute to SERS in addition to the Board's required employer contribution, an amount equal to each employee's contribution to SERS up to nine percent (9.0%) in lieu of payment by such employee. Such amount contributed by the Board on behalf of the employee shall be treated as deferred wages paid by the Board to SERS from the contract wage otherwise payable to such employee in cash. Effective with the first paycheck after Board approval of this Agreement, no state or federal taxes will be deducted on the amount of any bargaining unit member's contribution to SERS (the "pick-up") with the appropriate notations made on the individual bargaining unit member's W-2 form.
Ron February 16, 2013 at 03:04 AM
I find it unconscionable that you are trying to make teachers out to be public enemy #1. Lyn based on the stupidity of your comments, I'm surprised you can do the math. $48/hr for a master's degreed professional teacher sounds pretty reasonable to me. I wonder how many Sandy Hook residents think they're teachers are over paid, or how many $200/hr lawyers would be willing to give up their salary to teach our children. James and Tom M, your comments are completely idiotic as well. I'm thankful I don't live in Strongsville.
Jean Williams February 16, 2013 at 03:48 AM
ok so you dont live in strongsville ???? but you sign up for the strongsville patch and are commenting on a strongsville news story
lyn February 16, 2013 at 12:58 PM
Jean- And someone who doesn't live here decided that the the first time they comment on the Patch is about something that they are "thankful" that it has no effect on them? Gee, isn't it strange that on every article about these teachers, some brand new person to the Patch pops up and is so passionate - yet they always add they aren't a teacher , don't live here,.... Not only do the teachers look pathetic at the Board meetings, they would sound worse if they came on here actually crying for more themselves about how bad they have it. I guess they think this is the only way a Strongsville teacher can post a message without being outed as one - cause we are so stupid that we wouldn't be able to see through this guise. Or maybe we are suppose to be intimidates by them - like bullies behave.
T Jefferson February 16, 2013 at 02:43 PM
Comment to TSW – no I am not a lawyer, just a concerned taxpayer who after years and years of having my head in the sand, have now awakened and now finding out how us taxpayers are being robbed blindly by government Unions. Like anyone else, I would like to know how the taxpaying dollars are being spent and feel that I have an opinion and voice in the matter. With all the numbers you have been adding to this blog, I am assuming that you must be an MBA in economics or finance? We need a good numbers person on the board - perhaps YOU would consider putting your name in the hat when a board position opens up? Comment to PJ – thank you for that link. It was very helpful. I see that some of the bloggers are already scrutinizing and looking over the contents. It is 109 pages long, but very interesting reading material. One thing the board should consider in their negotiations is the question of what is called “dues check-off”. This is a practice of the city schools deducting the union dues directly from the teacher’s paychecks, like tax withholding or Social Security, and sends a check to the union. Why shouldn’t the union members write a check to the their union themselves? Why should that be a function of the treasurer? This takes a lot of time and effort away from her own job responsibilities. If this practice can’t be voided and removed from the contract, how about charging a processing fee for this service like you see nowadays on many utility bills?
T Jefferson February 17, 2013 at 03:37 PM
People – can I make a suggestion here? Time and time again we hear someone say that all of the postings (reply trails to a specific posting) from so-and-so have been deleted when she/he pulled their original post. Unfortunately, there was a lot of good discussion associated with that “train of thought” but, because the person pulled it, all of the trails that were attached to that posting are deleted as well. The other problem is that these posting trails are becoming so long, in order to keep up with what is current; one has to review/scan the entire listing to see what is new off of the original posts. My proposal – everybody post every post in the reply box at the end of the article so that none of the postings will be deleted, and, it will be easier to follow. All you have to do is look up where you left off from before. If somebody wants to delete their post, let them. It will not disrupt or delete the train of discussions that will be in chronological order. I can see where someone could set up a posting hoping that everyone replies to it, just so that they can delete their posting and effectively remove the content of the other postings. (Good tactic to remove the anti-union or pro-union posting information).
irish 92 February 20, 2013 at 10:35 PM
lyn- Including STRS as part of a teacher's salary is equivalent to including your proposed Social Security earnings. Teachers don't earn Social Security; they earn STRS. Teachers also pay city taxes, so they are also paying part of their own salary . . .or losing that money in city taxes.
irish92 February 20, 2013 at 10:35 PM
lyn- Including STRS as part of a teacher's salary is equivalent to including your proposed Social Security earnings. Teachers don't earn Social Security; they earn STRS. Teachers also pay city taxes, so they are also paying part of their own salary . . .or losing that money in city taxes.
lyn February 20, 2013 at 10:56 PM
irish- For about the past 20 years, the district (taxpayers) having been paying the TEACHERS (employee) 10% share of retirement contribution in addition to the normal 14% that the district (employer) has to contribute. This was lieu of giving them a raise. It would be like an employer paying an employees share of social security in addition to the employers share - not done. So, it appears the district is proposing that they will no longer pay the employees share. They will have to pay their own portion, as about teachers in 95% of the districts in Ohio have to. But, in exchange for the teachers having to now pay their portion, the district is proposing an increase in salary. Anyone else understand this differently? If I were a teacher, I would go for this because the failed Issue 2, which got rid of SB5, just might get replaced with the same provision that said a school district could not pay the teachers share. So, if that were to pass - they are stuck without a raise. Go for what you can get now, and don't gamble losing in the future. The public would have passed Issue 2 if the police and fire were not included - but a new bill written will definitely fix the problems of SB5. Again - it is nothing like including SS in ones earnings. To be the same thing, the employer would have had to pay both the employees and employers part due for SS taxes.
lyn February 20, 2013 at 11:54 PM
Irish- Also, its real estate taxes that we pay which help fund the schools - not city taxes. So, yes, if a teacher owns a home in Strongsville, they are also contributing to their own pay. So, IF every teacher owns a home here - that's less than 400 homeowners. City taxes go mainly for city services, like police and fire.
ACiulli February 21, 2013 at 02:10 PM
Please support our teachers. We live in a great community and need to continue to have a strong education system. With 3 children in the district for over 9 years now, we have had fabulous teachers. Teachers that go above and beyond to teach OUR kids, not theirs. Our test scores and graduation rates show how well our kids and teachers have been doing. Please get behind them and support the success they help our kids achieve.
Sara Michaels February 22, 2013 at 03:49 AM
Hello, I do not live in the area but did at one time teach at Parma Senior. I think the union can be a disgrace to the teaching profession. I currently teach at a small high school east of Cleveland. I feel bad for tax payers because as soon as a levy is passed in a person's community, the union all of a sudden thinks they are entitled to that money. I remember talking to a colleague of mine who happened to be a representative for our union and her exact words were, "if our levy passes this year, we will fight for a raise." Is that really the reason we pass levies? And on a side note, I don't know anybody who gets as good of health insurance coverage as I do. My own family members have thousands of dollars of deductables every year and my deductible is one hundred dollars per family member. THe people in the union fighting for these "fair and equitable contracts" need to pull their heads out of their asses and step into the real world. If Strongsville's levy would have failed last year, would the union still be asking for raises/more financial assistance?
tom m February 22, 2013 at 03:56 AM
ACiulli I had read the teachers are asking for a 15k pay raise and they want 3 months paid vacation and you want us to support it
James Murphy February 22, 2013 at 04:06 AM
they are out of touch
FedUp February 22, 2013 at 03:20 PM
"Their" website is claiming they want time during the school day to make lesson plans, grade papers, respond to parents e-mails, blah blah blah - I suggest they work and 8/9 hour day like everyone else to get all of that stuff done, take 1/2 lunch and the rest of the time they can sit around and respect each other until the cows come home. At not time have I heard anything about the kids. Out of one side of their mouths they say "it's all about the children" but the other side of their mouth is speaking a different topic. I think "their" website was an epic fail! It is high time that this economy affect their wallets too! And as for respect - I respect the teachers who respect me - but have come across way too many who only respect themselves.
lyn February 27, 2013 at 03:12 PM
Debbie Palmer- Can you do a short article that would let people know about this: http://www.strongnet.org/cms/lib6/OH01000884/Centricity/Domain/1/Questions%20and%20Answers.pdf It provides info from the district that answers many questions about what is going on. Since you have provided people with the teachers website and FB page, I think you should also provide the info that the district has online. As you usually are "fair and balanced", we may just be ahead of you on this - as you are probably gathering other info for the article to put this in.
Marian March 01, 2013 at 06:53 AM
Thanks, Coop. Some of these are ridiculous. No wonder the Catholic Schools have had to resort to Teacher Parity contributions in order to "equalize" the salaries of their public school counterparts.
Marian March 01, 2013 at 07:47 AM
My sister in law has a Master's Degree and has been teaching in private/parochial schools for 30+ years. She makes nowhere close to what some of the lesser educated SCD teachers do; but she still does her lesson plans @ home, grades papers @ home, respsonds to parent's e-mails/phone calls @ home,etc. I agree with FedUp in that everyone should feel a "pinch" in their wallets. If we're not careful, sooner or later there will be no more $ to give or to spend.
FedUp March 01, 2013 at 01:34 PM
So the newest casualty caused by the teachers is the students ability to participate in college accredited coursed. If the strike is still active next week when the parent meeting was to be held (the schools are under lockdown before/after school for sure next week) the meeting will not take place which - according to what our "beloved" (and I use that term lightly) teachers are telling the kids - if the meeting does not take place - they will be unable to take advantage of these college accredited courses offered by Tri-C. When the last levy was before the voters the teachers claimed "it is for the children". I have seen NOTHING in this fiasco that benefits the children! Some teachers are even claiming that they will be deleting any grades that are posted by the substitutes. Grow up teachers!

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