Zion-Benton teachers strike for 2nd day

January 6, 2012 4:50:38 AM PST
For the second day in a row, classes are canceled for thousands of Zion-Benton high school students as teachers and district officials work to hammer out a new contract agreement.

Nearly 300 teachers and staff members walked off the job early Thursday morning after a late-night mediation session failed to reach a resolution.

The Zion-Benton Federation of Teachers is expected to resume talks with District 126 officials Friday morning. Sticking points in the negotiation include pay and health insurance.

"The union feels that it is very important that there be a cost sharing in existence in with that health care plan and not shift the cost solely to the employee because that takes out, that removes the watchdog factor for the district to keep the premiums low," said Michelle Standridge, Illinois Federation of Labor.

Teachers and support staff have been working without a contract since July.