The Ohio State Employment Relations Board (SERB) has ruled in favor of the Youngstown Education Association (YEA) during a Friday hearing.

The union and school board both brought their cases before SERB in Columbus on whether or not the strike was legal. Had the strike been deemed illegal, union members would have had to return to work on Monday.

In order for the strike to be deemed legal, both parties must speak with a mediator and weigh all possible options before going on strike. The school board argued that this did not happen.

According to the ruling, SERB said that at any time during the negotiations, an impasse can be declared by either party.

The Union claimed that the parties' Collective Bargaining Agreement had met a 'mutually agreed-upon dispute' settlement procedure, or MAD that does not provide for fact-finding. On August 17, 2023, the School Board responded to the Union's August 14, 2023, filing, and asked that SERB deny YEA's request to rescind the fact-finding panel.

However, the union rescinded its request for MAD, which the school then requested a fact-finder after the strike vote was taken, but was not mutually agreed upon.

SERB stated that based on the timeline of events, the finding ruled that the strike was not unauthorized. 


Jim Courim, YEA spokesperson, says of the ruling, “We’re certainly happy that SERB has ruled in favor of our contractual and legal rights. A strike is something that a union never undertakes without much deliberation and planning. A major part of that was of course making sure that we were in compliance with our contract and the law.”