MAHOMET-SEYMOUR, Ill. (WCIA) — Members of the Mahomet-Seymour Education Association have turned down an offer from the district but say they’re still open to negotiating.

Union leaders say they started meeting with district leaders in the spring. Their current contract expired on June 30.

You can read the union’s statement below:

Members of the Mahomet-Seymour Education Association voted tonight in a straw-poll ballot on the last best final offer from the School Board District. With 88% of membership in attendance, more than 82% of MSEA members voted against accepting the offer.

Since April, the MSEA has met to negotiate with the district over 20 times, meeting for several hours at a time. We have successfully come to an agreement on many issues but remain apart on critical ones including adequate elementary level plan time, class size, administrator presence in the school buildings during the school day and adequate raises.

‘The fact is Mahomet-Seymour educators are facing increasing work loads every year as the district’s student population grows. Our working conditions and compensation have to keep pace,’ said Cameron Zindars, MSEA spokesperson and Mahomet-Seymour High School Social Studies teacher. ‘Other districts around the area have successfully come to agreements this year on issues like these. We’re just looking for our district to do the same.’

Rachel Roberts, kindergarten teacher and bargaining team member added, ‘The growth in our student population makes adequate plan time for teachers more important than ever. We love our students and want to bring our best to meet their needs.’

The MSEA remains open to negotiate with the district at any time to bring this bargain to a successful resolution.   

Mahomet-Seymour Education Association

Union leaders tell WCIA they’ve reached agreements on leave policies, internal substitution policies, out-of-district experience credit, IEP writing days, compensation for dual credit, sit-time rate for bus drivers, overtime calculation policies, length of contract day and more. They say they’ve met with a federal mediator many times.

WCIA has also reached out to the superintendent and board members for comment.