- Associated Press - Thursday, September 18, 2014

HIGHLAND, Ill. (AP) - Highland teachers overwhelmingly approved a three-year contract Thursday, ending a six-day strike that kept about 3,000 students out of the classroom.

The Highland Education Association announced the vote was 150-2 to approve the contract.

The agreement provides a 4.3 percent salary increase over three years, and teachers agreed to give up six personal days to make up for the days students weren’t in school because of the strike.

District and union leaders met Thursday for more than five hours to hammer out final details of the contract proposal.

The two sides began negotiations in April and reached an impasse over pay raises and the teachers’ demand that their insurance costs don’t increase.

Highland, which is located about 40 minutes northeast of St. Louis in Madison County, operates six schools. Students and teachers will be back in the classroom on Friday, in time to prevent the forfeiture of a second game by the district’s ranked football team.

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