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Alton teachers to hold strike vote

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By Matt Sepic, KWMU

Alton, Ill. – Teachers in the Alton School District will vote Thursday on whether to issue a strike notice.

Contract talks between the district and teachers union broke down Tuesday.

The union wants two percent added to its members' base salaries.

But Ric Stephenson with the Illinois Education Association said the district is offering only one percent.

"We're only looking for them to put one additional percent onto our base salary schedule," Stephenson said. "That's really important for us because the salary schedule is what attracts new teachers and also maintains experienced teachers in the district."

Alton Schools Superintendent David Elson said the district is offering annual raises of more than four percent. However that figure includes the raises teachers get based on their years of service.

"Our offer is priced at about $1,140,000," Elson said. "And what they're looking for is another $260,000 that we just don't have."

Alton students go back to class Tuesday.

If the union authorizes a strike, September 11 is the earliest the teachers could walk off the job.

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