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Published: Tuesday, 9/12/2006

Detroit teachers, on strike for 16 days, reach tentative deal with district

ASSOCIATED PRESS

DETROIT The city s striking teachers and the school district reached a tentative contract agreement overnight, clearing the way for a possible return to work after 16 days on the picket line, a union spokeswoman said today.

The deal was reached in overnight bargaining between the Detroit Public Schools and the 9,500-member Detroit Federation of Teachers, said union spokeswoman Michelle Price. She said the union s executive committee was meeting this morning, and teachers could meet to ratify it Wednesday morning.

Classes could start as early as Thursday for about 130,000 students.

Terms of the tentative deal were not immediately released revealed.

It s a concessionary contract, there s no doubt about it, said union executive board member Vince Consiglio. He said getting a contract was a victory in itself at a time when the district was pressing hard for deep cuts, but he said union leaders would have to work hard to win approval from their members.

Messages seeking comment were left with a school district spokesman today.

The walkout began Aug. 28 after teachers rejected a two-year contract that would have cut pay 5.5 percent and increased co-payments for health care. The district wanted $88 million in concessions from the union to help close a $105 million deficit in its $1.36 billion budget for the fiscal year.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.



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