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STRONGSVILLE -- Teachers and other employees on strike against the school district began walking the picket lines about 6:30 a.m. Monday.

Teachers voted to strike Sunday night after meeting, saying the seven months of negotiations with the school board reached an impassse Saturday when the board walked out of the mediation.

The Strongsville Education Association voted by an overwhelming majority in favor of a work stoppage.

The vote was held at the Holiday Inn in Strongsville.

"We have always been willing to negotiate and to make concessions to reach the fair and equitable contract that our members deserve," SEA spokesperson Christine Canning says.

"However, the Board has shown a callous disregard for its teachers, its students and its community by refusing to negotiate any longer and attempting to impose a contract that will ultimately hurt our kids."

After the strike vote was taken, the school district superintendent issued a statement:

"We are disappointed that our teachers have voted to implement a strike beginning on March 4, 2013. However, the Board of Education (BOE) and I are pleased that we have a highly capable and professional administrative team as well as qualified substitute teachers in place, who want only the best for our students. We thank the Strongsville Police Department for their efforts so that our students and non-striking staff are able to open schools on Monday as we begin this teachers' strike."

"We believe we have done everything we could to avoid a teachers' strike. It is the Strongsville Education Association's (SEA) decision to go on strike. We will continue to negotiate in good faith during the strike. We have posted both the BOE and SEA proposed agreements online at www.strongnet.org/negotiationnews."

"The community will find the BOE agreement to be fair to our teachers and affordable to our district. We are putting our strike preparation plan into effect. Families will continue to find helpful information on our website (www.strongnet.org)."

An SEA press release states a 10-day strike notice was initially issued on Feb. 21 after "months of fruitless negotiations."

There was hostility Sunday as substitute teachers had to be escorted into city hall to register to work so the city hired Huffmaster Security guards to escort them inside.

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