Strongsville BOE declines teachers' offer to meet

3:48 PM, Mar 14, 2013   |    comments
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STRONGSVILLE -- Strongsville School Board President David Frazee released a statement Thursday, saying it would not meet with teachers on Saturday.

"In response to the SEA's invitation for the Strongsville City Schools board to attend a negotiation session on March 16, the BOE reiterates its commitment to have its negotiation team meet when the federal mediator calls a meeting," said Frazee.

The Strongsville Education Association had offered to meet on Saturday.

"The Strongsville Education Association (SEA) is officially calling upon all five school board members to attend a formal negotiations session at noon on Saturday, March 16 at the North Eastern Ohio Education Association office in Garfield Heights."

Invitations were delivered Wednesday to the homes of David Frazee, Carl Naso, Jennifer Sinisgalli, Richard Micko and Ruth Brickley to provide additional notice of our request to bargain on Saturday.

In a posting on the SEA Facebook page, SEA writes "The school board has been unwilling to negotiate with the SEA since March 2. In two discussions arranged by a federal mediator, the Board's attorney Bill Pepple has continually refused to entertain any discussion about negotiations and has also refused to issue any counter proposal to the comprehensive counter the SEA provided to the Board in response to their Last Best Offer."

"At the most recent meeting on Monday, the SEA repeatedly requested a negotiations session with all five school board members to help resolve the dispute. This request was refused by attorneyBill Pepple, who adamantly insisted that the board members would not be attending any future negotiations with the teachers."

In its statement Thursday, the school board wrote: "It is time to provide a further update to the Strongsville community regarding the negotiations, according to Frazee."

"First, it is true that the Strongsville City Schools Board of Education (BOE) stands behind its last best offer made on March 2. It was made with the intent of avoiding a strike," said Frazee. "Sadly, it did not."

"That doesn't mean we will not meet with a federal mediator present, because we will," said Frazee. "By mutual agreement in the current labor contract, the negotiating parties determined that a federal mediator must call meetings and will have jurisdiction over the process. We are committed to stay with this agreement."

"The community should know that the BOE negotiation team and the board did, in fact, review SEA's counter proposal that was submitted on March 2," Frazee added.

"Not only was it shared with the board by the board's negotiating team, it is also an easy matter for anyone in the community to review the proposal as it appears on the Strongsville City Schools' website."

At a minimum, that proposal will exceed the district's budget by more than $2 million. It is just not sustainable."

Proposed agreements

The proposed agreements presented by BOE and SEA have been posted on the school website.

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