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Strongsville teachers call for renewed bargaining to settle their strike
School administration says it has offered all it can afford; "step" increases appear to be the stumbling block

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
The strike officially started at midnight, and teachers manned picket lines as largely empty buses pulled into school parking lots this morning.
Courtesy of M.L. Schultze
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In The Region:

There were plenty of picketers pacing the sidewalk outside of Strongsville city schools this morning, but no signs of trouble on the first day of what’s become a rarity in Ohio – a teacher’s strike. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the issues that are playing out here and are likely to play out elsewhere.

SCHULTZE: Strongsville teachers' strike

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The strike hit at midnight. And by about 6 a.m., the first of some 385 teachers, guidance counselors and other professional staff were lining up on sidewalks.

Shelly Jackson, a consultant with the Ohio Education Association, says the teachers want to keep talking.

“They would rather be in their classrooms right now with the students. And we’re waiting for the board to make that phone call. We’re waiting with the federal mediator. We could go right now.”

But Strongsville Superintendent John Krupinski says no one has made the mediator offer directly to him. In any case, he says, the administration doesn’t have anything else to bring to the table other than its last offer.  

“We’ve had unfunded mandates. Our revenues are decreasing. We must remain in the black, and therefore we have a very fair proposal on the table that has some concessions, especially in health care because health-care costs are staggering.”

But the sticking point for many teachers appears to be a proposal by the board that would eliminate some automatic raises based on seniority and on teachers getting advance degrees. 

Listener Comments:

The community needs to get behind and STAND UP FOR their teachers. These teachers are highly educated, and they conceeded as much as they possibly could. The school board is wasting your tax paying dollars on a hired security firm, and if you look at the quality of subs they are using in your schools, pictures on Strongsville Education Association, you too would agree that both sides need to sit back down and talk. The school board needs to offer Strongsville City Schools teachers a fair contract!

Posted by: Paula (Columbus Ohio) on March 4, 2013 4:03AM
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