Mahomet teachers, education support staff vote to authorize strike

MAHOMET – Tonight, teachers and education support staff from the Mahomet-Seymour Education Association (MSEA) voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike.

This vote means MSEA leaders now have the authority to call a strike if a fair contract cannot be reached. At this time, no strike date has been set.

“We’d much rather be in our schools and classrooms with our students, not out on the picket line. The last thing we want to do is go on strike, but we’re willing to do whatever it takes to do right by our students,” MSEA spokesperson Cam Zindars said.

MSEA and the Mahomet Seymour School District 3 Board of Education (BOE) have been negotiating for five months, including several federally-mediated sessions. Last week the BOE, declared an impasse and initiated the public posting process. MSEA has been working without a contract since June 30.

There are four main issues that remain unresolved:

  • Class size – Studies have shown it is in the best interest of students to have low teacher-to-student ratios in our classrooms. As the Mahomet-Seymour school district has grown, the employer’s refusal to create class size limits has had a negative effect on educators’ ability to provide students with the best education possible.
  • Plan time – As the Mahomet-Seymour district grows and class sizes grow with it, the need for adequate time to plan for and meet the needs of students is critical. MSEA’s proposal is designed to ensure, at the very least, minimal planning time and grade-level collaboration.
  • Safety/Security issues – For the safety and security of all students and staff, a building administrator (principal or assistant principal) should be physically present in each building at all times during student attendance.
  • Workload and compensation – Mahomet-Seymour educators are facing increasing workloads every year as the district’s student population grows.

“We are continually being asked to do more work for less money. We’ve all seen the news, there is a teacher and support staff shortage in this state. If the board gets its way, we will continue to lose experienced educators and talented, new teachers and staff to neighboring districts,” Zindars said. “We have to do better for our students. In light of the national school safety concerns, we’re asking for an administrator presence in all of our buildings. We need to make sure educators have plan time and small class sizes so our students get the best education possible. Our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions. We are fighting to protect our students’ right to a high-quality public education.”

There are about 330 people within the MSEA bargaining unit, including District 3 teachers, counselors, education office personnel, the school nurse, custodians, bus drivers and paraprofessionals. MSEA serves the 3,170 students in the district.

There are no negotiation sessions set at this time. MSEA continues to remain available to bargain at any time.


At 135,000 members strong, the Illinois Education Association (IEA) is the largest union in Illinois. The IEA represents PreK-12 teachers outside the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty and support staff, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.

Media Contact

Bridget Shanahan
Media Relations Director