The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

November 1, 2012

Catlin superintendent ‘a little’ surprised at union’s intent to strike vote


CATLIN — Catlin School District Superintendent Gary Lewis said he was “a little” surprised when he was notified by certified letter Wednesday morning of the Catlin teachers’ intent-to-strike vote.

Lewis said representatives from the school board and the teachers’ union, the Catlin Faculty Organization, met Oct. 22 with a federal mediator for three hours but weren’t able to reach a resolution.

“We don’t have another date set with a federal mediator, but we’re willing to sit down. We’re willing to meet again with the federal mediator and the union,” he said.

According to CFO President Lezlie Holman, the latest round of negotiations last week resulted in the board offering a three-year proposal that included teachers’ regularly scheduled step increases and a salary increase averaging 0.46 percent in the first year of the proposal.

Holman claims several language issues remain unresolved, and many of those are related to teacher effectiveness and student learning. Among those items is language focused on teacher evaluations.