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Talks Resume in Chicago, Detroit School Strikes

September 13, 1987|From Associated Press

Negotiators for striking Chicago teachers and the school board returned to the bargaining table Saturday after a four-day stalemate canceled the first week of school, but union officials were pessimistic about ending the walkout soon.

Teachers also returned to the bargaining table in Detroit, after a circuit judge ordered a negotiating session to begin Saturday.

The Chicago strike, the school system's ninth in 18 years, is "not going to be solved this weekend," said Jacqueline Vaughn, head of the Chicago Teachers Union.

The walkout began Tuesday and forced school officials to cancel the first week of classes in the nation's third-largest school district, affecting 430,000 students.

Chicago teachers want a two-year contract with a 10% pay raise the first year and 5% the second.

The school board says it has no money for raises unless the General Assembly restores funds promised to Chicago schools last year.

'Intense Negotiations'

In Michigan, Wayne County Circuit Judge Maureen Reilly ordered "intense negotiations" throughout the weekend to end the Detroit strike, which has kept 193,000 students out of school since it began Aug. 31.

Meanwhile, a drive to oust four Detroit Board of Education members for "excessive and inappropriate" use of chauffeur-driven rides to board meetings was spearheaded by a Detroit resident.

The action came after the Detroit News reported that the school district paid nearly $500,000 over 17 months ending in May to 12 drivers, who primarily took board members to meetings and other school-related functions.

Nationwide, strikes in seven states--Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington--have affected more than 47,000 teachers and more than three-quarters of a million students.

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