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Progress in Illinois Teachers’ Strikes, But Two More Walk Out in Michigan

September 1, 1989

Undated (AP) _ Teachers’ strikes in five states promised extended summer vacations for more than 50,000 students Thursday as scant progress was reported in talks over pay raises, benefits and work rules.

More than 3,100 teachers were idled by the walkouts, which affected 15,334 students in five districts in Michigan, 12,500 in one district in Montana, 11,000 in two districts in Ohio, 6,900 in two districts in Pennsylvania and 6,800 in an Illinois district.

Michigan teachers in Cheboygan and Ferndale walked out Thursday, bringing to five the number of school districts on strike in that state. The walkouts, involving 794 teachers, were into their fourth day in three of the districts.

But in Illinois, teachers in Alton and Harlem ratified new contracts Thursday, ending strikes and also the hopes of more summer vacation for about 13,300 students.

Harlem’s 350 teachers will get an immediate 7 percent raise this school year, followed next year by a 5 percent increase and a 6 percent increase in 1991. In Alton, the three-year contract affecting 700 teachers calls for pay raises of 4 percent, 5 percent and a reopening of the contract in the third year.

In the Quincy, Ill., district, 6,800 students remained out of school as a walkout by 350 teachers entered its third day. No talks were scheduled in that Mississippi River town until Monday.

In Ohio, talks were suspended Thursday in a strike by 180 teachers affecting 3,000 Indian Creek students. A walkout by 550 teachers affecting 8,000 students in Warren schools, meanwhile, entered its third day.

A four-day strike by 720 teachers in Great Falls, Mont., extended vacation for 12,500 students. No negotiations have been scheduled in the dispute over salaries, career increments, insurance, transfer policy and severance pay.

The school board in Laurel, Mont., has postponed the opening of school until Tuesday, idling 104 teachers and 1,900 students. Teachers call it a lockout, but school board member Chip Lowery said the schools were shut because no contract agreement had been reached by last Tuesday.

In Pennsylvania, 225 striking teachers who have idled 3,700 students in the Upper St. Clair district since Monday set their first negotiating session for Friday. In the Big Spring district, talks were scheduled for Tuesday in a strike by 192 teachers affecting 3,200 students.

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