Actual Proposals being negotiated will be published when the current rule changes. Until that time, no proposals can be published.
Resolution by the Strongsville Education Association:
No Confidence Vote in the Strongsville City Schools Board of Education
It is with great regret that we announce today, that after nine months of bargaining, and after the repeated and ongoing attempts by the teachers to reach a fair and equitable contract with the Strongsville City Schools Board of Education, the Strongsville Teachers Association has reluctantly submitted its 10 Day Notice of Intent to Strike to the Strongsville City Schools Board of Education.
If you find yourself asking “how did we get here….. how did this happen?” Please know that you are not alone. The teachers in Strongsville all went into education to teach kids, not to get drawn into high profile labor disputes. Our mutual agenda as teachers wasn’t secret or sinister, and it certainly wasn’t to go on strike. It was transparent and genuine. We wanted to teach our students, to watch them grow and thrive in a positive and nurturing learning environment. We wanted to contribute to their boundless growth and limitless potential, and to watch them blossom over the course of their school years into the amazing adults we all know they will become.
For the past nine months the teachers have worked without a contract. For the past nine months we have repeatedly attempted to reach a settlement with the Board. For the past nine months we have exhausted all efforts to make movement at the negotiations table in order to reach a fair and equitable contract. Unfortunately, all of these efforts have failed.
As early as May of 2012 we committed ourselves to negotiating in good faith with this Board. We agreed to postpone negotiations until July so that the Board would have a more sound understanding of the district’s finances. We even agreed to enter into discussions for an expedited settlement back in July, in order to avoid this crisis altogether. Unfortunately, this attempt at an expedited settlement went nowhere.
While the teachers honored the good faith intentions which gave rise to these expedited discussions, submitting a limited proposal that was within the scope of settlement, the Board did neither. Instead, they crafted a shock and awe proposal that strangled all possibilities for an expedited agreement.
By wasting this golden opportunity to reach a quick settlement with their teachers, the Board set in motion a process that has needlessly and senselessly prolonged negotiations, irrevocably harmed their relationship with their teachers and senselessly squandering valuable resources. Sadly, the meter is still running as we stand on the brink of a strike.
Since July the teachers have continually explored all avenues to reach a settlement. Our negotiating team, faced with nonexistent movement by the Board at the table, has even gone so far as to “counter our own counters” in an attempt to move the Board from its intractable proposal. Unfortunately, all of these efforts by the teachers to reach a fair and equitable contract have failed. Even the declaration of impasse by teachers and the subsequent involvement of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services have failed to move the Board and their Attorney towards a fair and reasonable settlement.
Finally, after nine months of bargaining and going nowhere at the table, the teachers took their concerns directly to the Board. It was, in retrospect, an act of futility.
This Board’s lack of leadership and pattern of mismanagement is a failure of epic proportions. When given an opportunity to show real leadership and to work to promote the best interests of the district, they have continually taken the easy way out. When faced with tough challenges that require a strong vision for the future, they have chosen the path of least resistance. When given the opportunity to stand up for education, they have instead stood up for policies that will continue to erode the quality of the Strongsville City Schools.
Therefore, and prior to calling for a No Confidence Vote in the Strongsville City Schools Board of Education, I submit for the record the following examples of the Board’s all too familiar behavior;
· This Board has created a caustic environment where teacher feel demeaned and devalued by the Board.
· When given the opportunity to improve this relationship by following thru on their promises of 2010, promises which helped to settle the prolonged 2010 contract dispute, the Board failed to follow through on every commitment they made.
· They secured a concessionary contract settlement with the teachers in 2010 based upon promises they never truly intended thonor.
· They induced teachers to give up essential conference and planning time with students in the name of reducing their OAPSE employees, and then, after we accepted these additional duties, they failed to eliminate a single position as promised.
· They placed a desperately needed levy on the ballot as an inducement for the teachers to agree to millions of dollars in concessions and then, after reaping all of the benefits of our concessions, had the audacity to tell the voters NOT TO VOTE FOR THEIR LEVY!
· They have undermining the confidence of the teachers and confused the community by scuttling their own levy on the eve of the election and then orchestrated failed attempts to pass a smaller levy in July while also failing the renewal of an existing levy in November.
· Since then they have continually failed to properly fund their district when given an opportunity to do so and, instead, have focused their efforts on asking the public to build buildings the district does not need and cannot afford to run.
· They have made questionable promises to votes that even their previous treasurer said were not true when they promoted their bond issue with the false promise of “pass the bond issue and you will never have to pass another operating levy again”. A promise their new treasurer already says will need to be broken in order to run the district.
· They have acted as if the over three million dollars worth of concessions by the teachers never happened, and have instead responded with demands for even more concessions, using the same old lies, threats and false promises from 2010.
· In the process they have made an already toxic relationship worse by trying to balance their books on the backs of their staff.
· They have cried poor with one breathe, sabotaged their own finances with another, and then attempted to finance their district by cutting more and more teachers, adding to the over 100 teaching positions that have been cut since 2007.
· They have proposed a new contract that will hurt kids, undermine the quality of education, drastically increase our already overcrowded classrooms and slash Art, Music and Physical Education at the elementary schools.
· They have allowed their attorney to craft a proposal that even their new treasurer claims “would greatly hamper the delivery of the high quality educational services Strongsville residents have come to expect.”
· They have begun work to implement contingency plans to SCAB out our work by bringing in inexperienced strangers with questionable credentials, people who don’t know our kids, to suddenly be teaching them.
While going on strike on Monday, March 4th is the last options the teachers want to exercise, it has become the only option we have left to end to this continued pattern of irresponsible and divisive behavior by the Strongsville City Schools Board of Education.
Therefore, and in light of all of the aforementioned abuses, I am asking the teachers for a Vote of No Confidence in the Strongsville City Schools Board of Education.
All in favor say “Aye”…..
Strongsville Education Association (SEA)
For Immediate Release:
Friday, February 15, 2013
STRONGSVILLE - The Strongsville Education Association (SEA) overwhelmingly passed a strike authorization vote today at their general membership meeting. The action allows the Association to issue a legal strike notice if and when needed.
SEA represents nearly 385 certified employees, including teachers, guidance counselors and special education interventionists employed by the Strongsville School District.
The Association took the vote today because the Board of Education refuses to negotiate in good faith. The Board continues to back their employees into a corner with tired negotiating tactics aimed solely at breaking the backs of the teacher's union.
"We are running out of options," said SEA Spokesperson Cristine Canning. "Despite our contract expiring in June of 2012, we returned to the classroom in good faith in order to serve the students of this community."
"By not reaching an agreement after over nine months of bargaining, the Board is now forcing us down a very dangerous path that could lead to a work stoppage in the next couple of weeks," Canning said. "In order to prevent this work stoppage, community members should immediately call Board members and urge them to settle a fair and equitable contract."
While going on strike is the last option the teachers want to exercise, it may be the only option remaining to bring an end to the continued patter of outrageous, irresponsible, divisive and malicious behavior by the Board.
"Today's vote is a call to action to the Board that the teachers of the district are invested in providing quality education to the children of our community," Canning said. "But we have to protect our working conditions because they are ultimately our students learning conditions."
What is a “fair and equitable” contract?
A fair and equitable contract …
- provides teachers with enough time in the school day to ...
... plan engaging and up-to-date lessons for a variety of learners
... tutor or conference with students who have questions or need
... grade papers/assess student work
... respond to parent emails and phone calls
... collaborate with other teachers on best teaching practices and
... create supplemental teaching materials
... update PASS
- ensures manageable class sizes to increase student-teacher
contact time, to provide richer and more meaningful feedback to
students and their parents, and to keep students from feeling
like “just a number”
- continues to keep the current music, art, and physical education
programs intact at the elementary level to develop creative,
- attracts and retains quality teachers in Strongsville, preventing
the community from losing good teachers to other districts or
- respects teachers as valued professionals