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posted: 10/17/2012 9:40 AM

North Shore District 112 teachers strike over

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Highland Park-area students head back to class after a 17-hour negotiation session between teachers and North Shore Elementary District 112 resulted in a tentative contract early Wednesday.

The school district and the North Shore Education Association posted a statement on their websites that a tentative agreement has been reached and classes will be back in session today.

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The statement continues, "We would like to thank everyone for their support over the past 24 hours. We are happy to report that the NSEA and Board of Education have reached a tentative agreement. Details will be shared with members at a future time."

Teachers went on strike Tuesday after a bargaining session did not result in a contract Monday night, and forced closure of the district's 12 elementary and middle schools in Highland Park and Highwood. The walkout idled more than 4,600 students.

Each side blamed the other for the impasse.

Pamela Kramer, president of North Shore Education Association, said Wednesday morning she is happy with the outcome and that teachers and students were heading back to class.

"I'm also happy we were able to retain in the contract what the teachers felt was most important to them," Kramer said. "We will get together with the board in the next couple of days and go through the process of getting the contract approved."

She said the plan is to meet with the board in coming days to write up the deal, which was agreed to at 5 a.m. Wednesday. The tentative contract will go to teachers for ratification.

She would not release contract details until after it is approved by union members.

"But, we are happy we have reached a tentative deal and teachers are back in the classrooms," Kramer said.

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