Fostoria teachers ready to strike if necessary

FOSTORIA — During the Fostoria Board of Education meeting Monday evening, over 130 teachers, family, staff and others attended to show their support of the teachers within the district.

Each wore red and buttons, stating “I don’t want to strike, but I will.”

“We want to show our students that we don’t want to disrupt the day, but this notice is a tool that we have in our tool belt,” Brian Shaver, FEA president said.

Teachers within the Fostoria City School District unanimously voted — during a meeting of the Fostoria Education Association on Aug. 28 — to authorize their bargaining team to issue a 10-day strike notice to the Fostoria Board of Education and the Ohio State Employment Relations Board.

The FEA and board have been in negotiations since May of this year without reaching an agreement. The contract between the FEA and board expired on June 30.

Shaver said the FEA and board met with a mediator and have also not been successful — with the most recent meeting on Sept. 10.

The FEA is comprised of 142 certified classroom teachers, guidance counselors, librarians, psychologists and other education professionals employed throughout the district.

Shaver said he was unable to go into any specifics about the contract at this time, but much of the negotiations have a financial connotations.

Shaver said the crisis team has meetings scheduled this week to further work out the FEA’s strategy.

Board members Patrick Grine, Thomas Grine, Thomas Guernsey and Sharon Stannard did not respond when reached out to by email Tuesday.

Board member Heidi Kauffman said she was unable to make a comment because the contract negotiations affect her household due to her husband being a teacher for the district. She has not participated in any of the negotiations.