Closings: Schools, churches, day-cares and businesses

East St. Louis teachers strike; 6,000 students without classes Thursday

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EAST ST. LOUIS, IL (KPLR)-  More than 6,000 students have an unexpected day off in East St. Louis as teachers go on strike. Teachers  prepared to go on strike after failing to come to terms on a new contract with the school district.

The 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.

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 2014 surplus and $6 million 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.