Strongsville Teachers Strike Left to Vote

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(File photo)

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – Negotiations between the Board of Education and teachers union for Strongsville City Schools ended on Saturday, leaving the possibility of a strike to an upcoming vote.

The teachers will gather at a closed membership meeting on Sunday beginning at 5 p.m.

If they reject the deal, the strike was expected to begin on March 4.

According to Todd Jaeck, a labor relations consultant for the Ohio Education Association, as of 2 p.m. Saturday, the BOE gave its “last, best offer.”

Strongsville Education Association President Tracy Linscott released the following statement following Saturday’s bargaining session:

“The Strongsville Education Association (SEA) is extremely disappointed by the Board’s decision to abruptly end bargaining by issuing a Last Best Offer at today’s afternoon negotiations session.

The Association is discouraged over the Board’s childish decision to abruptly leave the building, in the same taxpayer-paid Huffmaster security van they arrived in, instead of remaining to receive a comprehensive proposal they knew was being printed off by the Mediator.

The Board’s continued inability to bargain in good faith as well as their stunning decision to issue a premature Last Best Offer reinforced what the Association has known for the last nine months. Specifically, that this Board never intended to reach a deal, and instead was simply buying time to unilaterally implement a contract at a time of their choosing.

As a result, the Association has a planned general membership meeting Sunday to take a strike vote.”

Fox 8 News did reach out to the board president David Frazee for reaction to Saturday’s session, but as of 10 p.m., he had not responded.

The board has posted a statement regarding negotiations on the district’s website.

Neither side will talk about specific sticking points, but both said they are at odds over working conditions and salaries.

The tension has risen as the deadline nears, and things seem to be getting ugly.

In fact, the Board of Education for Strongsville City Schools is accusing some union members of becoming almost violent.

On Friday, the school board filed an unfair labor practice charge against the Strongsville Education Association.

What the BOE called an “angry mob” of about 100 teachers union members is accused of confronting the schools’ negotiation team at the negotiation site in Independence on Monday night.

The SEA members are also accused of pounding on vehicles and using themselves as a barricade to prevent the negotiation team from leaving.

According to the unfair labor practice charge, the teachers’ actions were a violation of their duty to bargain in good faith.

Tracy Linscott, the president of the Strongsville teachers union, released a statement that said, “It’s the same thing once again, instead of bargaining in good faith, the Board is relying on lies and half-truths truths to advance their anti-teacher agenda.  We’re confident that this frivolous claim will be dismissed by SERB (State Employment Relations Board).”

Last week, Strongsville teachers approved a “no-confidence” vote against the school board, based on the way they feel their latest contract negotiations have been handled.

“There’s two sides to every story, but I mean you look at it, like, I just hope they just get it resolved, I mean, there’s no winners obviously if that happens,” said parent Joe Perri.

“I don’t know how it’s going to go, doesn’t sound like it’s going very well, though,” said parent Beth Minut.

For the board of education’s web page on negotiations, click here.

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