Zion-Benton Township High School Teachers Go On Strike

UPDATED 01/05/12 7:17 a.m.

ZION, Ill. (CBS) — Teachers in Zion-Benton Township High School District 126 in Lake County say they are going ahead with a strike.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, more than 2,800 students at Zion-Benton Township High School and New Tech High at Zion-Benton East are out of school, after their 165 teachers decided to walk out Thursday morning.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

The Lake County News-Sun reports the Zion-Benton Federation of Teachers, which represents about 300 employees, planned to go on strike immediately if no settlement was reached with the school board in a negotiation session that started at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Health insurance and pay are the major stumbling blocks. The school district wants to change the union salary scale so that it would take teachers nearly twice as long for teachers to reach the top pay, the News-Sun reports.

Teachers are also being asked to pay for any increases in health insurance premiums out of their own pockets, the newspaper reported.

The district’s Web site says talks lasted until 3:30 a.m. Thursday, and the district says progress was being made on monetary issues at the time teachers decided to strike.

An attorney for the district told the News-Sun that no one can legally stop the teachers from striking, but the district thinks it is “unfortunate” and “unnecessary.”

The most recent state school report card for the district says teachers are paid on average more than $69,000 a year.

Because there is no school, athletics and extracurricular activities are canceled until further notice.

  • the rapture

    do you – my dear teachers – care about the kids or reaching the top of pay scale as fast as you humanly can

    someone needs to get their priorities straight – or not sound like money grubbing jerks when they talk to the media – because all the sound bites make you sound like you like money more than you like teaching….



  • Lisa Noel

    KH123If you are a concerned Zion Benton Township tax payer in support of the School Board, please visit this page for more information and to voice your concerns!! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Support-District-126-School-Board/356768844338304

  • John Salmeier

    News from the alma mater (though I have never thought of public school as a “nourishing mother”). Now that the TEACHERS have broken off talks with the board the next headline should read, “Board FIRES striking teachers!!!”

    My response in this case would be, “IT IS ABOUT TIME!!!” I love teachers who teach. I love teachers for whom it is a calling. I despise those who look at it as nothing but a paycheck. To my Florida friends, I know this school district north of Chicago, I graduated from it. The teachers’ salaries outpace inflation, but it is NEVER enough for the unions. It is about time someone had the stones to say NO MORE!

    What are the sticking points, pay and health insurance. I spoke on pay. Health insurance, the board is asking these public servants to pay a portion of their premiums. BIG DEAL!!! As a military retiree the Obama White House wants me to pay a higher cost share to remain covered by Tri-Care. Why are all other “union” workers willing to accept this change to retirees who were promised the benefit but unwilling to take on the same burden?

    Next thing to ditch the tenure programs for new hires.

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/01/10/new-agreement-may-end-zion-benton-township-teachers-strike/ New Agreement May End Zion-Benton Township Teachers Strike « CBS Chicago

    […] The teachers’ contract expired in July, and teachers have been working without one since. Health insurance and pay have been the major stumbling blocks. Share this No comments // […]

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