Volatile teachers strike in Strongsville - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Nearly 400 Strongsville teachers hit the picket lines

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Striking teachers in Strongsville Striking teachers in Strongsville
Police warn Strongsville picketers Police warn Strongsville picketers
Striking teachers in Strongsville Striking teachers in Strongsville
STRONGSVILLE, OH (WOIO) -

Close to 400 teachers in Strongsville are now on strike leaving 11 schools filled with substitutes.

The 383 teachers that make up the Strongsville Education Association voted overwhelmingly to go on strike on Sunday, and it's already turned into a nasty, ugly battle.

Superintendent John Krupinski says students are in school despite all that.

"We had a tremendous number of students come to school today. We were a little short staffed because in most situations the enrollment on the first few days of the strike is below 50% ours was not that," said Superintendent Krupinski.

About two dozen picketers arrived at Center Middle School Monday morning in Strongsville.  It is also the site of the district's Board of Education. 

Police were forced to intervene and issued a warning to picketers when they tried to block the school entrance to arriving substitute teachers.

Picketers shouted "shame on you!" to the subs being shuttled in across the picket line. They could also be heard chanting "settle now."

"We're going to continue to bring on new substitutes," said Superintendent Krupinski.  

Joe Kaval is one of those substitutes. He crossed the picket line which is not always appreciated.

"I was a little I intimidated at first.  They can only yell and scream.  So, it's wasn't too bad.  I think the teachers should be a little more mature in front of their students.  It's not a life or death thing," said Joe Kaval.

Join the Facebook conversation: Should striking teachers be upset with substitutes?

19 Action News has learned one kindergarten teacher, who is retiring at the end of the school year, has crossed the picket line and resumed teaching in his classroom.

The teachers walking the line tell 19 Action News that the Board's "last and final offer" was not good enough, and that they are willing to strike as long as necessary.

The district is asking teachers to pay more of the healthcare costs. It is also asking them to freeze how they get paid back.

According to students, there is chaos inside the high school and most students are leaving.

The information boards in front of each school says parent/teacher conferences are this Thursday, March 7.  Many wonder if an agreement will be reached by then.

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