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Strongsville: Residents ask SEA to take secret ballot vote

6:27 PM, Apr 9, 2013   |    comments
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STRONGSVILLE -- The Strongsville Community Action Committee has asked the Strongsville Education Association to allow its members to take an official secret ballot vote on the Last Best Offer submitted to them by the Strongsville Board of Education.

SCAC says it has been more than five weeks since the teachers officially voted on the Last Best Offer and, if the SEA truly feels confident their members remain opposed to the offer, they should have no problem taking an official secret ballot vote to verify.

SCAC added that, if the SEA continues to ignore these multiple pleas from the community for a simple secret ballot vote, we will assume they have no real intentions on ending this strike without making a political statement at the expense of the teachers, the students, and the community.

SCAC website Strikefacts.com

At a brief, 10-minute meeting Tuesday night, Strongsville City Council passed a resolution hoping to encourage the school board and teachers union to find common ground and end the teachers strike

The resolution simply states that the strike is damaging the district, and students are not receiving the highest quality education.

SCAC is a group of more than 4,000 members of the community and other concerned parties led by a panel of four Strongsville residents, all of whom have children in the Strongsville school district.

They are also the organizers of the "Supporting Students & Community" rallies every Saturday at the Strongsville Clock Tower. More information can be found on our website at www.StrikeFacts.com.

In a release Tuesday, the SEA said it condemns the Board of Education's decision to prolong the ongoing teachers' strike and calls on the Board to enter into binding interest arbitration to bring an immediate end to the strike.

The release continued:

"To say we are disappointed by the Board's recent failure to end the strike would be a major understatement. Had the Board accepted last week's offer of binding interest arbitration, today would have been day 5 of teachers being back in the classroom. It's time for them to accept our arbitration offer and bring an end this strike today for the benefit of our kids and our community," SEA President Tracy Linscott said.

Despite a six-week strike and four recent days of intensive bargaining, the Board has not made any movement off of its Last Best Offer, even though that offer was rejected by a vote of 94% at the March 3 SEA meeting.

"On March 3, teachers were given two difficult choices by the Board: they could vote to strike or they could vote to accept the Last Best Offer. 94% of them voted to strike. Dave Frazee's call on teachers to do this again just doesn't make sense. It's just another stall tactic and cheap diversion by a Board that still refuses to appear publicly. Kids need teachers now, and every day the Board stalls and rejects the offer of arbitration is a day of education wasted."

With no agreement to binding arbitration and no additional days of bargaining scheduled, waiting for teachers to cross the picket lines seems to be the extent of the Board's plan.

In e-mails dated April 8 to local community members, Frazee wrote, "I'm sure more will follow!!" and "It will be difficult getting those soon-to-be majority of teachers who crossed the picket line, to accept those who did not." The offer of binding interest arbitration is still on the table. If it is accepted by the Board, teachers would return to their classrooms immediately.

Board members have rejected binding interest arbitration, have attended just one bargaining session since the strike began on March 4, have canceled three public board meetings, and have refused the mayor's requests to meet. Community members are waiting to see if the Board will hold its next scheduled meeting on April 18 as planned.

WKYC-TV

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