STRONGSVILLE, Ohio, April 28 (UPI) -- An eight-week strike by teachers in Strongsville, Ohio, has ended with the school board unanimously ratifying a new contract with the teachers' union.
The district's 385 teachers will return to work "as soon as possible," school board President David Frazee said. The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer said it was unlikely that would happen Monday after Frazee said students and the replacement teachers the district hired would be given a chance to say good-bye.
Frazee said he hoped the community would begin patching the frayed holes that developed during the intensely controversial strike.
"Now we want to do all we can to bring our school district and community back together," he said.
Teachers won salary concessions in the final deal, though at the expense of pension contributions.
The Plain Dealer said the new contract, effective through June, 2015, converts a 9.3 percent pension contribution into a 10.3 percent salary increase. The district's most senior teachers who have maxed out on step increases will also be given two $1,200 bonuses, one in June and another at the conclusion of next school year.
"This was one of the hardest times in all of our lives," said union President Tracy Linscott, a 9th-grade teacher. "We gave up our salaries for eight weeks. It felt like a year."