Jersey City teachers union, district reach tentative agreement

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JERSEY CITY -

The Jersey City School District and the teacher’s union reached a tentative agreement Sunday night.

The district says that the schools will have a normal Monday schedule. In addition, The Morning Stars, Casper and after-school programs will run as scheduled.

On Friday, a judge ordered the teacher’s union to end the strike, saying that students face "irreparable harm" from not having classes.

The teachers had been without a contract for over eight months, since Sept. 1.

The Jersey City Education Association says that it wants a raise to cover increased health benefit costs signed into law by former Gov. Chris Christie in 2011. The district said it is facing a $70 million budget shortfall.

Talks broke down at a school board meeting Thursday night, and the strike was called early Friday morning. That meant  3,100 teachers and about 900 school workers walked off the job, affecting the 30,000 students in the school district.

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop says he was trying to bring the two sides together, saying on Facebook resolving the strike was his top priority.

During the last Jersey City teachers strike 20 years ago, teachers defied a similar order to end the strike. That strike went on for 10 days, and schools were closed most of that time.

A similar teachers strike in West Virginia last month lasted almost two weeks and ended in a victory for the teachers.

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