Jul 28, 2014
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School Board Makes New Offer to Teachers; Union Counters

District offers pay raises; SEA says they're not enough

School Board Makes New Offer to Teachers; Union Counters

 

The Strongsville Board of Education made its first move away from its "last best offer" on Sunday, drafting a new proposal for striking teachers.

The new offer came after the district announced a tax windfall of $3.2 million in unexpected revenue.

The Strongsville Education Association has responded with a counter-offer and harsh words.

"The Board of Education still has no interest in ending the strike and returning highly qualified teachers to the classroom," an SEA news release sent out Monday afternoon says.

The School Board, which had called for a two-year freeze on step and column increases, is now offering raises of a half-step for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years. Column increases would stay frozen.

Teachers not eligible or at the highest step would get a one-time payment of $1,200.

"In an effort to bring the teachers back to the classroom, we have updated the proposal to the teachers union as well,” School Board President David Frazee said in a statement. “The bottom line is that this is a proposal that our school district can afford and sustain.”

The School Board's new offer also offers no reprisals for teachers' behavior before or during the strike, although it excludes "criminal proceedings or any proceedings by the Ohio Department of Education arising under the Licensure Code of Conduct for Professional Educators."

The SEA's counter-offer calls for regular step and column increases to resume, although it no longer seeks to have the step levels restored to where they would have been if they hadn't been frozen last year.

And it calls for "no interruption, suspension or freeze of any step and/or column movement in the future."

The counter-offer also seeks two payments for teachers who don't get step raises of $1,500 each.

And the SEA says there are still "differences on crucial language issues" in the two proposals. 

The SEA maintains the monetary difference between its proposal and the school board's is less than $1 million over the course of the three-year agreement.

Both sides have agreed to eliminate future raises for Voluntary Professional Growth.

To see the School District's new proposal, click here. For the SEA's, click here.

School officials announced Sunday they had learned over the last week that tax revenues were higher than anticipated and the district would receive $3.2 million over its projections.

Frazee said some of the money would go to reducing the general education and pay-to-play fees.

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For other stories on the teachers' strike,  click here.

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