Springfield teachers unanimously authorize strike

SPRINGFIELD, OH (Toledo News Now) - Springfield teachers have unanimously voted to authorize their bargaining team to send a ten-day strike notice to the Springfield Board of Education.

This unanimous vote took place at a general membership meeting of the Springfield Education Association Monday.

The Springfield teachers' bargaining team now has the authority to set a strike date if no agreement is reached with the board of education.

The SEA reports staff has been in contract negotiations with the board for almost a year.

Teachers have been working without a contract since last June.

The Springfield Education Association represents 233 certified classroom teachers, guidance counselors, librarians, psychologists, and other education professionals employed by the Springfield Board of Education.

Springfield schools will let out for the summer on May 31, and a potential strike scares parents like Dawn Halbert:

"What if they close the schools down? School is already coming to an end, but what if they close it down for the rest of the year because the teachers are striking; it's not good for the students."

Springfield Education Association President Marty Perlaky says the notice has been thought out carefully:

"It would be very difficult for parents; it would be very difficult for teachers. Taking a 10-day strike notice is not something that this association takes lightly at all."

After 11 months of negotiations and a fact finder recommendation that was approved by the teacher's union, but turned down by the Board of Education, both sides appear to be at a standstill.

The Education Association, however, says if an agreement can be reached in the 10-day window, a strike can be avoided.

"Hopefully we get back to the negotiating table and we get this settled and don't have to act on that 10-day strike notice. That is our position, we do not want to strike but if we have to, we are fully prepared and ready to do that." Perlaky explained.

The Springfield Board of Education will hold a meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday. There is no word on when the two sides will resume negotiations, or when the date of the potential strike will be set.

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