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Mahomet-Seymour teachers on strike

Today marks Day 2 of the Mahomet-Seymour Education Association strike. Neil Parthun wrote a story for the U-C IMC that posted last night. An excerpt:

The first day of school for Mahomet Seymour students did not happen today because the Mahomet Seymour Education Association (MSEA) has been out on strike since 7 a.m.

The school board had offered a two year contract with 2.1% raises for teachers (step only), 2.5% raises for aides (step only) and 2.5% raises for other support staff. MSEA had modified their original demands to a new offer of a one year contract with 3.05% raises (1% plus step), 4.5% for aides (2% plus step) and 4.5% for other support staff.

After meeting with federal mediators on Tuesday and Wednesday night, the school board essentially guaranteed a work stoppage after their bargaining team unilaterally left the table without responding to MSEA’s offer. The board contends that their $1.5 million education fund and $3 million in working cash fund are for ‘rainy days’ for which the largest economic meltdown since the Great Depression does not apply. It was also recently announced that the district can expect nearly $700,000 from the Federal Education Jobs bill which is meant to pay teachers and support professionals. Any of these revenue streams could allow the district to settle a fair and equitible contract with the educators.

You can also read the News-Gazette’s coverage of the negotiations here and here.

UPDATE (8/20 @ 2:42 p.m.): A source with knowledge of the negotiations says that the school board and the union have reached an agreement. More details as they come in.

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