STRONGSVILLE - The Strongsville Education Association says no more teachers have crossed the picket lines after two crossed on Monday.
In a statement Wednesday afternoon, the SEA also have called upon Ruth Brickley, Vice President of the Board of Education, to sign the Memorandum of Agreement committing to Binding Interest Arbitration that the entire SEA negotiation team has already signed.
(Note: The statement below originally included Brickley's complete home address. WKYC has chosen not to publish it)
The statement continued:
The Board of Education's agreement to SEA's standing offer of Binding Interest Arbitration would end the strike immediately.
"It only takes three board members to end this strike and have teachers back in the classroom immediately," SEA President Tracy Linscott said.
"Had the Board of Education agreed to Binding Interest Arbitration on April 2, today would have been the sixth day that teachers would have been back in the classroom teaching. I would hope that as a retired teacher, Mrs. Brickley would welcome the opportunity to bring high quality teachers back to the classroom immediately through binding interest arbitration."
Forty-five days have passed since the Board of Education's last meeting on Feb. 21, and since that day all board members except President David Frazee have remained strangely silent in public. It is the opinion of the SEA that, while Frazee is undoubtedly the board president, it is not his place to speak for all of its members.
Since each board member was individually elected, each member is individually accountable to their constituents and should be permitted to be actively involved in negotiations. Does Frazee speak for all of the Board? Evidence suggests that this has not been the case. The only member of the Board of Education to attend negotiations on Monday, April 8 was Frazee.
However, the negotiations sessions held the previous Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were reportedly productive, particularly on Friday, April 5 when Board member Richard Micko attended. This raised the hopes of the entire community. Frazee abruptly ended the progress on Monday and discarded the work of over 40 hours, as two teachers had crossed the picket line and he believed that 200 more would soon follow.
As of Wednesday afternoon, none had. After Frazee attended Monday, the Board and the SEA both reported no official movement was agreed upon and no new bargaining sessions had been scheduled. "Does Ruth Brickley stand behind Dave Frazee's continued attempts to extend the strike and his all-or-nothing approach to negotiations, or is she ready to see the strike end? Ruth does not need Dave's permission to sign the agreement. She alone has the power to take us one step closer to ending this. Our kids and our schools are in her hands," Linscott said.
Ruth Brickley currently serves as vice president of the board. She is a retired teacher and former union member, and her husband is currently a member of the Strongsville City Schools classified employees' union, OAPSE.
The SEA urges parents to contact Ruth Brickley to bring an immediate end to the strike by signing the agreement to enter binding interest arbitration.