East St. Louis teacher set to hit picket line Thursday

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EAST ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – There will be no school Thursday for students in East St. Louis.  Teachers are prepared to go on strike after failing to come to terms on a new contract with the school district.

There was some hope of a last-minute resolution tonight, but so far that hope is gone.

On Thursday kids in the East St. Louis will stay at home, because teachers and district 189 officials are still at odds about a new contract. Members of the local 1220 teachers union voted down the districts latest offer Tuesday night, and now the strike is on.

District officials say some teachers are reconsidering their votes because of a lack of information.  But union reps say that`s all wrong, and the only way to settle the dispute over a lack of pay raises is to mediate.

They also say the district has the money to make the raises happen; a $25 million dollar 2014 surplus and $6 million dollars in the bank to be exact. Students also walked out of class on Wednesday and demanded raises for their teachers.

At this point union officials say they are still waiting to hear from mediators and the district to come to an agreement. Until that happens, more than 400 teachers and support staff will be at all of the district’s schools with signs to get their point across.