STRONGSVILLE, Ohio-- As the Strongsville teachers' strike ended its 6th full week, a large rally was held in support of the striking educators.
More than 500 people representing about 20 different unions from across Northeast Ohio descended upon Strongsville commons at the corner of Royalton Rd. and Pearl Rd. at 5 p.m. Friday.
Cleveland teacher Bob Delgado said, “My wife and I are both here to show support for Strongsville teachers and their struggle.”
One by one, representatives from the various labor organizations addressed the crowd.
One man said, “Our fight is your fight. We will stand with Strongsville; we will have solidarity.”
Talks between the Strongsville Education Association and Board of Education broke down this past Monday after 4 days of bargaining.
The last statement made by Superintendent John Krupinski at that time was that “they’ve made their last best offer.”
SEA President Tracy Linscott says, they’ve asked for binding interest arbitration but the board has refused.
Board President David Frazee has said on record that they aren’t comfortable “having an out of town 3rd party spend taxpayer dollars.”
“I think it’s sad that it’s come to this and that Board of Education is moving toward breaking our association instead of doing what’s best for kids,” said Linscott.
At the rally there was a strong opinion that the BOE was trying to dismantle the union.
Many in attendance said they consider the board’s actions an attack on all organized workers.
“I’ve been in education all my life and I defend public education, quality education and I’m here in solidarity with the striking teachers because the future of public education in America is at stake,” said Werner Lang, a retired college professor.
Late Friday the federal mediator called a meeting between the two sides for Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
Linscott said she hopes it leads to an agreement that will put the teachers back in the schools where they belong.
FOX 8 reached out to the board Friday night but did not hear back from them.