Mount Olive teachers strike continues after negotiations fail

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(KTVI) - Mount Olive, Illinois teachers are back on the picket lines on Tuesday. They failed to reach an agreement with the school board after six hours of talks that stretched late into the night.

More than 100 parents and students cheered the teachers as they went into the closed-door negotiations. But, even with a federal mediator both sides could not agree on the key issues like salaries and retirement benefits.

"We feel that when you make a promise you need to keep it. That`s what we need to teach the kids." said Teacher & Union President Marcia Schulte.

"It's just a very difficult financial climate in the state of Illinois and in the united states, but really in the state of Illinois. It`s just put us in a bad spot." said Mt. Olive Superintendent Patrick Murphy.

Teachers say the board is offering smaller increases than promised. The district says its budget is shrinking because enrollment and state aid have been shrinking too. Talks will resume next Monday.