STRONGSVILLE -- The Strongsville Community Action Committee says it knows of 61 striking teachers who have expressed interest in crossing the strike picket lines.
The group will hold a press conference at 5 p.m. Thursday in front of Center Middle School to discuss the teachers who may want to cross.
The group also started strikefacts.com and has a Strongsville City School Strike Facebook Page and says it will release "disturbing" documents that reveal "misinformation" by the Strongsville Education Association and the National Education Association.
In addition, SEA made it owns statement Wednesday, saying it has accepted an offer from a local mediator to sit down for two days and try and work out a solution with the school baord.
So far, the Strongsville School Board has not responded to the offer.
"The Strongsville Education Association has accepted the offer of a local neutral arbitrator to conduct binding interest arbitration free of charge in an attempt to settle the ongoing teachers' strike."
"Both the SEA and the Board of Education were recently approached by veteran arbitrator Marvin J. Feldman who has offered his services to settle the eight-week strike. While the SEA has accepted his offer, the Board has yet to respond."
In a letter dated April 12, Feldman reached out to both the SEA and the Board. Feldman, who works throughout Northeast Ohio, cites a concern for the community as his reason for waiving his typical fee of $1,250 per day."
Based in Cleveland, he has helped to settle 3,253 labor contracts in the region since 1959. "I am willing to become involved because our community is involved and because your negotiations, apparently, are going nowhere," Feldman wrote to both parties.
"In the past, David Frazee, president of the Board, has objected to binding interest arbitration, claiming that it puts taxpayer dollars in the hands of an outsider. Frazee and the Board have made no indication that it will accept this free offer from the local arbitrator."
"We are willing to try any reasonable means of settling a contract, but we keep hitting a brick wall. You would think this would be an offer the Board can't refuse. It costs them nothing, is local, would bring an end to this divisive strike, and would put quality learning back in schools," Christine Canning, SEA spokesperson, said."
Feldman offered two days of arbitration without charge at his office in the presence of a court reporter, indicating that if a deal isn't reached in two days, a deal is unlikely. He has recently helped settle contracts for Kirtland Local Schools, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office, and Canton City Schools."