Monday, March 4, 2013

Strongsville Teachers Strike Begins Today

Posted By on Mon, Mar 4, 2013 at 8:03 AM

Strongsville_City_Schools.jpg
[UPDATE, 12:01 p.m.] “We have always been willing to negotiate and to make concessions to reach the fair and equitable contract that our members deserve; however, the board has shown a callous disregard for its teachers, its students, and its community by refusing to negotiate any longer and attempting to impose a contract that will ultimately hurt our kids,” Christine Canning, Strongsville Education Association spokesperson, said.

Meanwhile, Strongsville students are certainly keeping the outside world apprised of what's going on in school today. Here are a few choice excerpts via social media:













[UPDATE, 10:30 a.m.] The strike is under way and school board officials say another bargaining session isn't likely until perhaps next week.

The Strongsville Education Association's website outlines the union's concerns with the current contract proposals.

***

After being locked out by the school board last Friday, Strongsville teachers, guidance counselors and educational specialists began their strike this morning. In all, that's 383 members of the Strongsville Education Association.

Sun News' Cory Shaffer has been following the story closely, offering a robust roundup of news dating back through dynamic negotiations. He writes that SEA members "overwhelmingly" supported the strike as negotiations over a new set of contracts broke down:

The strike culminates more than seven months of regular negotiations and more than a month of protests from the teachers at board of education meetings and most recently at the Strongsville Police Department March 3.

...the teachers didn't buy into the proposal, which called for the elimination of all step and column raises and the district's pickup of the employee share of retirement savings. The 9.3 percent pickup would have been transferred to the base salary, bringing the starting salary for a teacher with a bachelor's degree to $38,013.

Shaffer recorded video yesterday of the teachers screaming at teachers applying for substitute positions at the police department - just across the street from the school board offices. One man can be heard saying: "Rosa Parks would be ashamed!" The cacophony directed at the applicants - as well as two young women who were actually there on "police business" - is revealing.

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