New meeting scheduled for Strongsville teachers' strike, community group makes allegations

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio - A community group against the strike held a news conference making damaging accusations against the Strongsville Teachers Association on Thursday.

Those allegations were found inside a strategy packet labeled that had a "confidential" stamp on it.  It was titled "NEA Strategy Directives to Field Representatives for Difficult Negotiations."

Members of the group, the Strongsville Community Action Committee, handed these packets out to media members alleging the teachers union is using the more extreme steps explained inside as a guide on how to operate this strike. 

Shortly after 10 p.m., Sara Robertson, a spokesperson with the National Education Association, responded to NewsChannel5's inquiry writing:

"I can confirm that document was definitely NOT authored by NEA. More importantly, the language in that memo is not something we would urge any of our members to use. While NEA has not been directly involved in the Strongsville strike, we do stand in solidarity with our members."

At the same time, a letter with damaging information on one of the community members who spoke Thursday, filtered around the Center Middle School parking lot where the group gathered.

Anger over the strike for both sides is only intensifying.

On Thursday, members of the Strongsville Community Action Committee also encouraged 61 teachers to cross the picket line. Group members said those teachers came forward saying they want to cross, but are afraid to do so.

"I'm hoping that it changes the views of the teachers that have not crossed yet, that have expressed the interest in crossing, but are so fearful of what they've been told by their colleagues that they have not done so," said Erica Leslie.

Strongsville Teachers Association President Tracy Linscott responded to this earlier in the day. 

"I'm surprised because we have not heard of those 61 teachers. And I guess my feeling would be, if they're going to cross the picket line, why would they contact this citizen? We have a building full of administrators, if going back to work they would certainly contact an administrator and not a citizen of Strongsville," Linscott said.

Linscott, as well as two other members of the Ohio Education Association, said over the phone they never seen the "strategy" packet before. 

Strongsville Superintendent John Krupinski announced a new meeting with both sides and the federal mediator.  It is scheduled for Friday at 1 p.m.

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