Potential Teacher Strike in Akron School District


Akron school teachers threatened to go on strike after not working under a contract since June of 2022. The Akron Board of Education and the teachers union came together on Jan 1, 2023, and after a long weekend of negotiations, they came to a conclusion at 7:28 pm, the night before students came back from break.

19 news reported that, “Both sides reconvened Sunday in the presence of a federal mediator, coming to a tentative agreement.”

The main goal of both parties is to provide a safe, nurturing, and fair environment for the students and staff. The current agreement has not been publicized, but is said to be enacted for the next three years. 

The conversation about teachers’ value is one that has been discussed for years. 

Akron Public Schools Board President N.J. Akbar said “‘There was never a question from this board that our teachers deserve more. We hold that same value,’” according to 19 news.

Chagrin Falls High school social studies teacher, Mr. Scott, shared his perspective on how fortunate he is to work in the Chagrin Falls School District.

I am fortunate to work in a community that puts a tremendous amount of stock in education. We are greatly supported by our community and administrators. We have a common goal… doing what is best for our students,” said Scott.

Math teacher, Mr. Hass-Hill, also agreed with how fortunate he is to work in a district where teachers are not underestimated and are respected.

I think that teachers in CF are well-supported and respected by people in the district, including the public and administrators. We’re very lucky in that way since it isn’t true everywhere. I think the difficulty of teachers’ jobs is underestimated by most people and I think that in many places the public is reluctant to spend more to improve the quality of their schools,” said Hass-Hill.

However, both teachers are aware of the lack of support many teachers face in many other school districts. Both were aware of the potential strike and understood what the teachers were feeling and what was powering the narrative behind the strike. Teachers’ main goal is to benefit their students, but they also have to be able to realize their worth and that respect needs to come from the community and administration in order for them to fully respect and care for their students.

“I did hear about it and I cringe when these situations arise. It is so hard to truly understand the magnitude of these situations. Teachers are definitely in a tough spot because they don’t want to hurt their students in any way. However, they must do what is right for their family and career. School districts do have to make tough decisions in the best interest of students and with rising costs that makes for some very difficult decisions,” said Scott.

Hass-Hill really understands the deeper meaning of what these teachers were advocating for. 

“I know it had to do with teacher salaries (of course) as well as teacher concerns about safety. It sounded to me as though teacher compensation had fallen behind nearby districts, so teacher demands to close the gap made sense to me. I am fully supportive of teachers ensuring they and their students are safe and find it troubling that teachers and the district could ever have been on opposite sides of that issue. I’m glad it was resolved without a strike,” said Hass-Hill.

At the end of the day, the potential for strikes and rebellion come from a lack of support and acknowledgement. All communities need to realize the importance and necessity teachers are, and the value they deserve.

“I would ask that the public appreciate the difficulty of teachers’ jobs and acknowledge them as experts and professionals. There are lots of “armchair teachers” out there who believe that as parents or knowledgeable people they are in a position to tell teachers how to do their job. Few people would tell a doctor or lawyer how to do their job, but since everyone went through the school system, everyone seems to believe they know as well as teachers,” said Hass-Hill.