EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) – East Liverpool Schools held its back-to-school bash at Thompson Park Friday. But parents were talking about the people who might not be back–the school’s teachers, who filed a 10-day strike notice Thursday.
“I don’t think it’s right. I think we need to get the regular teachers back on line and get them ready,” East Liverpool parent Joe Fike said. “We don’t need these substitute teachers around here.”
The school board says it will use substitute teachers if the East Liverpool Education Association votes to strike next week.
“And let all the parents and families know that we will have schools open,” East Liverpool Superintendent Melissa Watson said. “The beginning of the school year is a very exciting time, and we just want to continue to celebrate that.”
Watson did not comment on a possible strike.
The school board says they don’t want a strike to happen. But at this point in time, they say the only offer they’ll accept is the one they submitted as their best final offer back in April.
“When the last school board offer was given to us, please understand that we were in a negotiation meeting. That was sent over two hours into negotiations,” East Liverpool Education Association Spokeswoman Trisha Hutton said. “We’ve never been able to give a counter-proposal.”
Parents said they want both sides back at the negotiating table.
“Don’t penalize the kids. Try to work something, at least go back and try to get a mediator to come in and sit with both sides,” East Liverpool parent Dean Kidder said. “I know that’s what has been said, there’s a mediator. Have them get together at the same time.”
Without an agreement, the teachers’ next step would be to vote on a strike next week before the school year starts August 24.