Teachers unions are really something. When levies are on the ballot, they're out banging the pots and pans for passage, crying, "It's for the children." But let contract talks not go to the their liking, then these very same people are willing to throw the kids under the bus and authorize a strike.
According to the Stow Sentry, the teachers union is upset about trimming of vacation, holidays and sick leave. Vacation days -- teachers work about 180 days a year compared to about 235 days for other professions. I understand the union is also upset that its members will have to start making a contribution to their health plan.
Hopefully, Superintendent Russell Jones and Board of Education President John Pribonic took time from their pursuits that are unrelated to the district to do good contingency planning for any threatening school strike. And to be effective, this must include a willingness to hire permanent replacements for strikers. If the Board shows this kind of backbone, there will be no strike. In spite of the rhetoric about how hard they have it, I believe the teachers themselves know how easy it would be to be replaced and will do nothing to jeopardize their positions.
The previous two levies floated by the Stow-Munroe Falls District went down to ignominious defeat. It is highly uncertain whether the 7.7-mill renewal levy slated for November will pass. Therefore, the Board must be prudent and take into account the possibility of reduced funding down the road. The Board cannot give away the store to the teachers now if it is not sure there will be adequate money to run the district next year.