Strongsville teacher strike likely to go into third week - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Conference held after board members are a no-show

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STRONGSVILLE, OH (WOIO) -

The Strongsville Education Association threw down the gauntlet on Saturday…

Teacher's union president, Tracy Linscott challenged School Board members to negotiate one day before a federal mediator meets with both sides on Sunday.

The Board of Education members seats at today's meeting, however, were empty after Board President David Frazee made it clear they will only "be present whenever the federal mediator calls for a meeting."

That meeting is tomorrow so today only reporters and a captive audience of media cameras showed up to the Northeastern Ohio Education Association office in Garfield Heights.

"You can't say you're bargaining if your last best offer never changes.", said Linscott.

The BOA, not required to be there, let a statement speak instead of taking up the teacher's invitation today.

"We stand behind our last best offer made on March 2. It was made with the intent of avoiding a strike, Sadly, it did not."

Monday the strike enters it's third week for 383 Strongsville teachers who have been on the picket line instead of in class, since March 4.

Linscott says sticking points are not all about salary.  Language about how teachers are fired and class size still can't be agreed upon.

"If it was just about money all of us would be in our classrooms.  We have language that respectfully is good for kids", said Linscott.

Then she said, "It's time for Dave Frazee Jennifer Sinisgali, Richard Micko, Carl Naso and Ruth Brickley to put on their big boy pants, stop hiding behind their lies and their lawyer and personally come to the table in order to settle the strike."

The board, in whatever pants they were wearing, said in their statement today that they had "in fact, reviewed the SEA proposal from March 2", and that " at a minimum, that proposal will exceed the district's budget by more than $2 million. It is just not sustainable."

Linscott countered, saying, "In the past the predictions are so far off from actual numbers that it is obvious the thumb is on the scale."

Both sides sit down with the mediator in Independence Sunday at 1:00 pm. 

Click here to see the union's counterproposal from March 2nd.

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