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De Blasio announces contract deal with teachers’ union

LA School Report | May 1, 2014

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New York Times NYT logoVia The New York Times | By Michael M. Grynbaum and Nikita Stewart

Mayor Bill de Blasio, confronting a key challenge of his first year in office, announced what he called a “landmark” labor deal on Thursday with New York City’s largest teachers’ union that officials said would provide a framework for dozens of other outstanding contracts with the municipal work force.

The deal, hammered out in marathon negotiations this week, will grant $3.4 billion of back pay to the union, the United Federation of Teachers, which has worked for nearly five years without a contract. In exchange, the union agreed to a substantial reduction in health care costs and a revision of classroom rules that have long frustrated city officials.

The agreement, which must be ratified by the union’s 100,000 members, is a milestone moment for Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat with longstanding ties to the city’s labor groups. The mayor entered office in January pledging fiscal stewardship, even as he faced the prospect of negotiating new contracts with 152 municipal bargaining units.

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