Strike Day 1: No New Talks Set for Union, Board

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STRONGSVILLE, Ohio -- Hundreds of Strongsville teachers walked the picket line Monday marking their first day on strike.

Some students described the atmosphere in some schools as chaotic.

As of late Monday, no new contract talks had been scheduled between the school board and teacher's union. Both sides, as well as students and parents, said they want teachers back in the classroom as soon as possible.

Strongsville teachers took to the picket line Monday after failing to reach a contract agreement with the school board over the weekend.  They were often quite vocal, especially when their replacements showed up for work.

"I think it shows our passion; that's not normally what we're like. We're not people normally involved in a big labor dispute.  We're teachers, so I think it shows how angry we are about not being in the classrooms," said Tracy Linscott, president of the Strongsville Education Association.

"Our working conditions are the children's learning conditions, and that's so important to realize that without the things that we're trying to stand up for and try to have within a contract, the most conducive learning environment won't occur," said kindergarten teacher Christine Canning.

"It is my hope that we could reach an agreement as soon as possible. I'm quite willing to speak to the bargaining team of the SEA at any opportunity that I would have," said schools Superintendent John Krupinski.

All Strongsville schools were open Monday, but the superintendent admits there were only about 170 substitutes available to replace 383 striking teachers.

In the high school, only core courses were taught, and students spent some periods in the auditorium.

"It's just too much chaos. I'm with the teachers, that's basically it, until they come back. He'll just stay home with me. If they don't come back, we'll put him in home school," said parent Sharon Brito.

"It's disappointing what's happened, and I hope we can resolve this problem because the girls would like to have the teachers back," said parent Julie Castir.

Neither side will be specific, but they said working conditions and salary issues are the main sticking points. While the teachers are out of the classrooms, some parents are keeping their children out of school as well.

"I don't want this to go on. I want to learn. I'm at school to learn, and not stay at home learning nothing," said student Maddie Beraidi.

The superintendent said he hopes to have more substitute teachers hired as the week goes on.

*Read much more about the strike here*