Striking in Fairland; OAPSE Local 345 hits picket line

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 13, 2002

The Fairland School strike enters its second day today. While the atmosphere in and around the picket line is considered

calm, the standoff between the school board and the union representing some 50 non-certified workers appears to be dividing the community the school district serves.

Construction workers involved in the remodeling projects at Fairland East and West Elementaries and at Fairland High School are refusing the cross the picket lines to finish their work.

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However, some parents and students are going to school in spite of the strike for band and cheerleading practice in the week leading up to when classes are scheduled to resume.

Ask the person on the street their opinion of the standoff, and you get a mixed review.

"Being a union man myself, I’m on the union side," said Greg Bias, whose two children attend Fairland High School.

One man who didn’t want to give his name had a different opinion.

"I don’t belong to a union," the man said. "I just have to work hard. I look at this and think its absurd."

Some parents said they weren’t taking sides in the matter, they just hope the strike in time for classes to resume.

"They better quit by next week. These kids need to get back to school," Tina Carter said. She has three children in the Fairland district.

Several people approached by an Ironton Tribune reporter professed not to know anything about the strike at all, even though their children attend schools in that district.

"I don't know why they're going on strike.

I hope this doesn't stop the kids from going to school. The kids will be hurt in the long run if school doesn'tThe two sides last met at the bargaining table Sunday afternoon for a five hour session that failed produce an agreement.

The two sides remain at odds over fair share and binding arbitration. The union insists on having those two items in the contract; the board refuses to allow it, but has offered the union pay raises and a $1,000 signing bonus.

There are no new talks scheduled between the two sides. Teresa Moore/The Ironton Tribune