Strongsville Teachers Promise Strike in 10 Days

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STRONGSVILLE, Ohio -- The teachers in Strongsville say they are striking in 10 days!

And they mean business. According to past accolades, they perform at a very high level with excellent academic standards year after year.

In fact, last year they earned "Excellent with Distinction" honors. Now they want the district to take notice.

They issued a 10-day strike notice on Thursday.

They want a raise, better working conditions and they want to fight reduction in music, arts and physical education in elementary schools.

The starting salary for a teacher in the district is $34,779, below average in Cuyahoga County, according to Strongsville Education Association President Tracy Linscott.

She wouldn't elaborate on the percentage the teachers are requesting.

"We're a district that has been excellent in Ohio for the past nine years. That comes from teachers working directly with students and this wouldn't happen without our teachers," Linscott said.

Parents are extremely concerned about the possibility of replacement teachers.

"They deserve a raise -- absolutely," said parent Gayle Boron.  "I help with the show choir and one teacher there is great.  I think they deserve everything they want."

Superintendent John Krupinski said he's very disappointed in the union's choice to strike.

"We are still in negotiations and hope a strike can be averted," he said.

Krupinski told Fox 8 he's busy trying to find certified replacements with clean background checks to be ready on March 4, if Strongsville teachers hit the picket lines.

A meeting was held on Thursday in the Strongsville High School auditorium where details about the potential strike were announced to the public and the media.

Fox 8 News was in attendance and will provide updates.

Both sides will meet Friday with a federal mediator to try to hammer out a contract.