No Deal, No New Talks Set in Strongsville

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STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – A fourth marathon session of contract negotiations in the Strongsville teachers strike ended Monday night with no agreement.

“The Board of Education negotiating team engaged in lengthy face-to-face dialogue with the SEA team during intensive sessions held over the past four work days,”  David Frazee, board president, said in a press release. “We believe that the last best offer presented on March 2nd, remains to be what is in the best interest of Strongsville City Schools, our community and our students. Given the extraordinary number of hours spent at the bargaining table, yet lack of significant progress, at this time we respectfully ask the SEA bargaining team to present our last best offer to their membership for a vote to get our teachers back into the classroom.”

School officials said there are no new talks scheduled.

SEA President Tracy Linscott said the teachers are still on strike and that less than 1 percent of the teachers have crossed the picket line.

The board and the SEA met with a federal mediator in Independence beginning at 9 a.m.

The two sides also met several times last week for as long as 12 hours per meeting.

Strongsville residents had a lot to say.

“I didn’t think the strike would last this long,” said Anthony Jones, resident. “I figured by now they’d come to some sort of resolution.”

“I thought someone would have come to their senses and given in,” said Joey Calanni, resident.

People may be divided on the issue, but they are united in their support of the students.

Mayor Thomas Perciak and City Council President Michael Daymut announced that a special council meeting will be held Tuesday at 5 p.m. on behalf of the students.

Council has drafted a resolution, urging both sides to end the strike.

This comes after students showed up at an April 1 council meeting, concerned about their education.

“We aren’t taking sides," said Daymut. "We support our students.”

Students have complained about the conditions inside the buildings and that they are not receiving a quality education.

”When they wake up in the morning, they’re like mom I don’t want to go I have a headache every single day," said Phyllis Shaver.

Many parents want the teachers back in the classrooms and some have returned.

Sources inside the high school told Fox 8 that two teachers crossed the picket lines Monday, and they said more may follow Tuesday.

The teachers have been without a paycheck or medical coverage since the strike started. The teachers have also said they will be decreasing the intensity on the picket lines, “honoring honest and true negotiations.”

One thing everyone seems to agree upon is that it’s a stressful time in Strongsville, and they just hope it’s settled soon before the community and students suffer any more.

“I would like to see them resolve it -- I think they’re adults and the kids are at a disadvantage. I liked to see them come to some type of agreement,” said Roberta Park, resident.

The mayor is also planning an open forum for Friday night, starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Strongsville Recreation Center, so that citizen’s concerns can be heard and addressed.

Nearly 400 union members have been off the job since March 4.

Students have been attending classes with substitutes.

For extended coverage on the strike, click here.