Strongsville teachers strike for quality education

support520x310

In Strongsville, Ohio - an upper middle class suburb southwest of Cleveland, where the student test scores have the highest ranking assigned by the state - the teachers have been out on strike since March 4.

On April 2, as the strike entered its fifth week, hundreds of teachers and supporters - joined by teachers from other parts of the state - picketed and demonstrated in front of the board of education building, and then marched down to the town square, where they were addressed by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

Strongsville Education Association President Tracy Linscott stated that the issues are not monetary, but involve contract language covering areas critical to actually educating children and class size. The board has refused to negotiate honestly, and in one 10-hour-and-50-minute session last week, did not offer movement on any issues. They have hired a security firm and scab labor from out of state, at a cost currently approaching $2 million.

The Republican dominated state legislature, and GOP Gov. John Kasich, have led a campaign to destroy public education by breaking teachers unions, and diverting public funds to private, non-union, charter schools. In 2011, the administration passed a law known as SB5, which severely limited the power of public unions to negotiate. This bill was soundly defeated by referendum in the fall election of 2011, and at least one picket sign observed the board is continuing the agenda of SB5.

Yesterday, the Association made an offer of binding interest arbitration to the board to settle the strike immediately, but it was rejected. A federal mediator has scheduled a meeting for this morning.

Sen. Brown - speaking to a crowd then exceeding 1,000 people - said the students deserve a settlement, and that he will be in contact with the board.

The teachers - not accustomed to striking - have closed ranks and stand united and strong: they stand together for the future of high quality public education.

The board's agenda is unknown but opposing the union appears to have a higher priority than providing that quality education.

Photo: Strongsville students show their support for the striking teachers.   Strongsville Education Association Facebook page

 

Post your comment

Comments are moderated. See guidelines here.

Comments

  • In today's economy, we have all had to make concessions. Personally, I'm tired of hearing about how teachers are "so underpaid". When checking out the state website where you can look up their salaries, and considering the benefits they receive, they are far better off then the average middle class person.

    When I lived in North Olmsted, if the levy failed, the first thing to cut was the kids sports and the kids bus service. Nothing was taken from the reported fully funded teacher's retirement program or health care.

    It's a twist your arm situation = till u cry uncle. If you have to leave work in the middle of the day to go pick your child up from school because bus service has been cut, you will eventually vote for the levy and pay higher property taxes.

    The economy has changed, everyone has had to make concessions, this includes teachers.

    Posted by Citizen, 04/25/2013 1:06am (1 year ago)

  • As a Strongsville resident, this "news" article is so one-sided, not surprisingly for the striking teachers and the SEA. The salaries and benefits and step schedules are not sustainable. Anyone that lives here knows that the last several school levies that attempted to raise taxes were SOUNDLY defeated. In fact the renewal BARELY passed. So how about considering the tax payers' side of things? Instead of blaming "republican dominated" legislature, blame the thousands of tax payers that make on average less than the teachers their tax dollars compensate. It's time that unions like the SEA are dealt with firmly and honestly. And I, for one, support the school board for being good stewards of our tax dollars, refusing to go in the red for the sake of "compromising".

    Posted by Ed, 04/03/2013 9:24pm (1 year ago)

  • What a biased, poorly constructed opinion piece masquerading as news!! No facts, just rhetoric! The SEA has been beligerent, misleading and disruptive to the commuity , yet you rant, and rave, about the BOE agenda? Did you do any real research? Did you read the contract proposals? Can you articulate the differences on compensation, class size, actual teaching hours, performance metrics?

    If so, then do a comparision piece and explain the merits of each position. Otherwise, admit you are a schill for the union. What happened to ethics in the media?

    Posted by Expect better than that, 04/03/2013 8:02pm (1 year ago)

  • I live in this town, so I can tell you the truth. This strike is all about money. The demands they have cannot be met by the school board and they cannot except it. They are hurting our children's educations and are being selfish. I'm not aganist unions, but this one has too much power.

    Posted by Lauren, 04/03/2013 5:51pm (1 year ago)

  • Wow, talk about biased journalism! Your information is incorrect and is pure union propaganda!

    Posted by strongsville parent, 04/03/2013 5:41pm (1 year ago)

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments