The Strongsville teachers’ strike enters its third week today. The teachers’ union and school board met over the weekend to negotiate, but as ideastream’s Nick Castele reports, there’s still no deal in sight.
The teachers’ union and school board came to the federal mediator’s office on Sunday. But when the union negotiating team emerged after more than four hours, Strongsville Education Association president Tracy Linscott said there was no progress in reaching an agreement.
LINSCOTT: “I would consider this a waste of my time. We wasted all our time today, because the board refused to even meet with us.”
She said the school board and teachers’ union sat in separate rooms, and talked through the mediator -- but to no avail.
LINSCOTT: “We’ll be back out on the picket line, and the students will be in the classrooms with 200 or 150 unqualified teachers.”
The school district now says about 250 substitutes are now at work.
School superintendent John Krupinski, who appeared outside the mediator's office after the union team had left, read from a statement written on a piece of notebook paper. He said the school board did not waver from what he calls its last best offer.
KRUPINSKI: “We have reviewed the teachers’ proposal, and it is unsustainable and unaffordable.”
In a past contract, the union had agreed to a freeze in automatic pay increases. Now the union wants that pay restored to where it would have been without the freeze. It’s also asked to have class preparation time restored. That’s time teachers have had to spend on other duties, such as watching the cafeteria at lunchtime.
As school board president David Frazee left the meeting, he said he was frustrated.
FRAZEE: “I thought we’d have -- be closer together after today, but we’re not.”
There are no new negotiations scheduled at this point.