Teachers in Strongsville, Ohio have been on strike for over seven weeks now, facing down a school board that seems more focused on breaking the union than on getting teachers back in the classroom.   According to the Strongsville Education Association (SEA), the group representing the teachers, the Strongsville School Board is also refusing to accept arbitration.

On April 2nd, SEA made an offer for binding interest arbitration that would have immediately reunited teachers with their students.  The board has so far refused to accept the offer, instead complaining that arbitration would put taxpayer dollars in the hands of an “outsider”.

This week the parties received an offer for free assistance from an experienced, local arbitrator.  SEA accepted the offer from Marvin J. Feldman, who has been involved in thousands of contract negotiations since 1959.  According to SEA, the board is still refusing to participate.

It appears that the board hopes the long-lasting strike will turn the community against the teachers and force them to accept SB-5 like concessions.

So far, the teachers are staying strong.

The latest information about negotiations can be found on SEA’s website.

The site also contains a donation link where you can help with medical bills and other expenses while they are on strike.

  • Bob M

    Strongsville BOE is very much interested in breaking the union. They are “True Believers.” Strongsville being a rather conservative community has never had much support for its public school system despite the “Excellence with distinction” it has rated as evidenced by the difficulty in passing any school levy (in the 15+ years I have lived there). They don’t much care about state budget cuts and HB 920 – they believe the teachers are overpaid and under worked.

    What they have managed to do is work both sides of the debate into a hateful frenzy bringing out all “the best” in the citizens of the city as evidenced by the vile comments found on Facebook and “The Patch” (local “news” site.)

    Silly me, I never realized that teachers were the root of all evil and where the cause of the downfall of the United States.


    I hope they use binding arbitration. Just for the sake of the children.

  • Retrofuturistic

    Adolph Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in February 1933 and abolished German unions in May 1933. Unions are the only check and balance we have left in this country against the almost unlimited power of the corporations that control our government and would also like to control our schools.

  • By refusing to negotiate through an unbiased third party, the board of education is sending a negative message to the students. Doesn’t the Strongsville City School District have an anti-bullying policy?

  • Bob M

    Yup, and they claim that the teachers are being the bullies. You know, union thugs and all.

  • Freedom205

    Corporations control our schools????? Please explain your rationale for this hypothesis as I have only seen that unions dominate our school systems and make it practically impossible to terminate bad teachers. I am glad that this school is not bending to their strong arm tactics. This “free” arbitrator is a union hack by the way.

  • Freedom205

    This arbitrator is not unbiased. Check the record.

  • Referring to a skilled arbitrator, who has settled over 3,000 private and public labor disputes, as a “union hack” certainly shows YOUR bias.

  • Bob M

    Sorry, it is EASY to get rid of a non-performing teacher – even one with tenure – the procedure will be outlined in the contract. Unions protect the PROCEDURE and the CONTRACT, not poor workers. Not the union’s fault that school administrators are often too lazy to do that part of their job.

    Use your head, why would the “good” workers want to carry “bad” ones? Only make work tougher for the ones that are doing their jobs.

    That “protect the bad workers” canard always makes a swift appearance. There ought to be a Godwin-like law about that.

  • If one falls we all need to expect the same. Akron has been without a contract all year. I’m scared about what is coming. I fear things are not going well in our negotiations. If they were we would have our contracts.

  • Freedom205

    You clearly know nothing aboutw unions OR you work for them. I stand by my comments. I have experience on my side. what do you have besides a desire to make my opinion unlawful?

  • Freedom205

    I don’t claim to be an unbiased neutral. I base my opinion on reviewing his available opinions which appear biased. I see your bias stops you from doing your own research. you call yourself “Think” but you dont seem to do it. you must be one of the striking teachers

  • The point isn’t whether both sides like this arbitrator, it’s that the school refuses to accept any arbitrator despite multiple offers from the SEA.
    If you don’t like the guy who is offering his services for free, then pick another one and split the cost with the SEA, just like they proposed on April 2nd.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • Freedom205

    The school is not obligated to use an arbitrator at all. They are within their rights to provide a final offer to the union. If the union doesn’t want to take it, they can strike. That is their right. Who is punishing the children more, the school for trying to stay within budget or the union for demanding more money and then having their teachers walk out on the kids (“striking”) when they don’t get their way? Hmmmmm, I’m going with the union. They alone decide when to strike. They could have waited until school was over but did this on purpose so that the parents would get ticked and then the teachers could blame everything on the school board. It is just political leverage. Sadly, the union is not considering the kids, just their own pockets. And people like you are letting them play you.

  • Bob M

    Hmm, don’t know. The ability to read and follow a contract perhaps?

    There are laws that back contracts up, and those laws work for both sides.

    Yup, I’ve worked union, non-union, labor *and* management.

  • Bob M

    Sadly the BOE it is not considering the kids, only their political agenda to break the teacher’s union. If their finances are as the BOE claims an arbitrator will see that.

    What the BOW really fears is that an arbitrator will see through their fabrications. The Stromgsville BOW has a history of lying on a number of topics both to the teachers and rest of the taxpayers in Strongsville.

  • Freedom205

    If you know contracts so well then you know that union contracts do NOT make it “easy” to terminate a non-performing teacher. They require schools to go through many months if not years of headaches before they can have a chance at meeting the high burden of “just cause” to let the terrible teacher go. They then have to argue that in front of an arbitrator, many of whom are biased. Then the teacher is put back to work by a biased arbitrator. Since you are so well versed in this you know it is true but for some reason you wont admit it. And unions do NOT protect the “procedure” they protect the bargaining unit members at ALLL costs – whether they are a good employee or a terrible one.

  • Freedom205

    Bob, you sound biased yourself based upon your perception that the BOE are “liars” and an arbitrator will “see through it”. I am thinking you are a teacher for this school based upon your comments. Further, just because the school is sticking to their guns JUST LIKE THE UNION IS BY STRIKING why is it that you believe the union is innocent of hurting the kids but this “evil” school board is only interested in “breaking the union” and hurting the kids? Your theory lacks common sense. The Union is trying to “break the school board” as well by striking at this time and turning on its political pressure and parent pressure. Why are they immune from your venom?

  • Bob M

    No, I am not a teacher in the Strongsville school system, nor any other school system. I have taught,but not in any public school system.

    What I am is a long time resident and taxpayer in Strongsville that has been paying attention to how the BOE runs the school system and what information they provide to the residents. I also do not currently have any children in the Strongsville school system, but that does not diminish what I believe to be the most important function a COMMUNITY should provide: a quality education for the children living that community.

    Since I have been paying attention I am aware of the lies the BOE has to,d the teachers as well as the lies they have told the community. I was not aware that calling the BOE out on their falsehoods was “venomous”, but I do read a fair amount of bitterness in some other comments on this page.

    It is interesting that we have gone from one biased arbitrator to finding ALL arbitrators are biased.

  • Bob M


  • Freedom205

    I NEVER said all arbitrators are biased. I said “many” are and that is fact. Some are biased toward unions, some toward employers. Remember, Arbitrators are people and one could argue that all people have their own inherit biases in them that drive their decisions. Your thinly veiled reference that I am someone “venomous” in my comments is duly noted. I, however, stated several posts ago that I never claimed to be unbiased. Seems only you and “Think” are the only ones in these comments denying your own biases. At least I am honest and don’t thinly veil my opinions.
    You claim you care about “quality education.” See, to provide quality education, a school must stay within budget. If not, teachers get laid off. How does that help anyone? Demanding unreasonable wage concessions and then striking when you don’t get your way is not the way to provide a quality education to children. Staying on your post and teaching through the end of the term when you are this close to the end of school before you strike – – -that would be providing a quality education. You know as well as I that this has NOTHING to do with “quality education.” It has to do with lining someone’s pockets and using the kids as leverage to get it.

  • The union is demanding more money? Really? Then why have they offereda pay freeze through 2016? You do know what a pay freeze is, don’t you?

  • Bob M

    The teachers have already made $2 million dollars in concessions. They were/are prepared to accept more. The only folks getting their pockets lined on this are the lawyers.

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