Union Ratifies Deal in Zion Teacher Strike

Details of agreement not being made available

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2012  |  Updated 9:45 PM CDT
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Zion-Benton Teachers Strike

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Zion-Benton Teachers Strike

Representatives for a teachers union and the Zion-Benton Township High School District 126 in the far northern suburbs both say they're close to a deal, but couldn't come to an agreement Thursday.
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Classes are scheduled to resume in Zion Benton Township schools on Wednesday after union employees agreed to a deal with the district to end a teachers strike.

Teachers and support staffers ratified the agreement on Tuesday afternoon, a union spokeswoman said.

The deal was reportedly struck hours earlier, at about 2 a.m., after another round of marathon negotiating sessions.

The four days that students were kept out of classes, athletics and other activities at the high school  will have to be made up before the end of the school year. The strike left about 2,800 high school students out of class since last Thursday.

Zion-Benton Township High School teachers went on strike last Thursday after contract negotiations failed. Both sides met Monday afternoon for several hours in Gurnee to try to resolve all remaining issues.

Proposals were exchanged, but until the early-morning decision, all indications were that no agreement would immediately be reached.

Negotiators aren't releasing details of the agreement. Key issues have been health insurance costs and salaries. A school district attorney says both sides made concessions to reach the agreement.

NBC 5 reported last week the district wants to change the schedule of pay raises to dole them out slower. That issue, along with discussions over insurance benefits, apparently has been tentatively settled.

The teachers have worked without a contract since July.

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