Strongsville Strike: Four Teachers Cross Picket Line

Four Strongsville teachers crossed the picket line and returned to their classroom. The Ohio teachers strike will enter its fourth week on Monday. A group of Strongsville Education Association protesters converged outside the office of School Board President David Frazee last week. Fellow school board member Carl Naso was also faced with picket sign-waving protesters outside of his office in nearby Beachwood last week.

During the third week of the Strongsville teachers strike student attendance reportedly increased. The current attendance rate now equals about 94 percent of that on a typical school day. The Ohio school district now has approximately 300 substitute teachers offering classroom instruction.

The Strongsville Education Association has questioned the validity of the grades which students took home on Friday. The end of the third week of the strike also marked the end of the third grading period and the last week before spring break.

A release from the union which represents the Strongsville striking teachers reads:

“Inconsistent grading procedures have some questioning the validity and long term impact of grades that are not issued by highly-qualified classroom teachers.”

No new contract negotiations have reportedly been scheduled. The Strongsville Education Association and the school board are still divided over specific requests, pay raises in particular. The requested salary increases would reportedly cost Strongsville homeowner’s about $80 more per year in taxes.

The striking Strongsville teachers filed a suit against the school district last week. The legal action was reportedly taken to force the district to release “some public records” about the substitute teachers and security procedures that were put in place during the strike.

David Frazee recently restated the school district’s position on pay raises – they can’t afford any. The school board president also noted that the district will negotiate with the Strongsville striking teachers again when the federal mediator calls a negotiating session and not before. A release from Frazee also stated that the school board has listened to the voters and that they will operate within current budget constraints.

On average, Strongsville teachers reportedly made about $70,500 on average during the 2011-12 school year. Union officials estimate their proposed contract would cost the school district approximately $1.5 million more through the next school year. District administrators maintain that the proposed contract would prompt a $2 million deficit.

What do you think about the Strongsville teachers strike?

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