BRECKSVILLE -- The Brecksville-Broadview Heights City School District has created a plan to advertise for experienced substitute teachers.
In a release about noon Friday, the board said this move was prompted by indications of a strike from the Brecksville-Broadview Heights Education Association, the union that represents area teachers.
Related story: Brecksville-Broadview Hts school district declares impasse
"While we have continued to negotiate in good faith, BEA has given numerous indications that their membership plans to go on strike," said David Tryon, school board president.
According to Tryon, a work stoppage can only occur if the union decides to do so. Lockouts by the school district are not permitted by law.
"It is our responsibility to be ready for our children when they return to school in August. We hope the teachers choose to return to work, but if they decide to go on strike, then we will be prepared to teach our students."
Mid-afternoon Friday, the BEA responded with its own news release:
The Brecksville-Broadview Heights Education Association is extremely disappointed by the Board's recent decision to publicly advertise for the services of scab employees to replace their teachers on the first day of school.
This action on the part of the Board, while terribly detrimental to the best interests of the students and parents in Brecksville-Broadview Heights is sadly consistent with their relentless commitment to bad-faith bargaining and forcing a strike that will tear the community apart.
Once again, the reckless actions of the Board clearly demonstrate that they are far more concerned with parading the teacher's contract through the streets of Brecksville-Broadview Heights than they are with educating our children.
The BEA remains committed to bargaining in good faith with the Board for a fair and equitable agreement that will save taxpayer dollars while also preserving the quality of education that Brecksville-Broadview Heights is renowned for.
Despite the recent rhetoric of the Board, the Association has never indicated that there will be a strike and remains committed to reaching a fair and equitable agreement.
"We will be advertising in regional newspapers, online and on our school district's website to begin the selection process for substitute teachers," Superintendent Scot Prebles said.
Qualified candidates are being asked to submit their applications online on applitrack.com
(Criminal and other background checks will be a part of our due diligence, said the district.)
Prebles added, "Our hope remains that our teachers will return to their classrooms in the fall. However, we owe it to our students and their families to have qualified and experienced substitutes onboard and ready to teach in the event of a strike."
"Certainly, our preference is that the teachers do not choose to strike," Tryon said.
"But we need to put our contingency plan into motion now to be prepared for our students."
The School Board continues to seek community input.
As part of this process, the board wants residents to go to the district's website to find information and connect to the school board and superintendent, as well as submit comments.