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Agreement reached to end faculty strike at day school

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PHILADELPHIA (JTA) — A faculty strike at a Jewish day school in suburban Philadelphia appears to be over.

Teachers and the administration at the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy reached a tentative deal on a five-year contract very early Monday morning, the Jewish Exponent in Philadelphia reported. The strike had shut down the school for a week.

Steven Brown, Barrack’s head of school, sent an e-mail to parents early Monday morning informing them that the students were expected back at school on Tuesday, the Jewish Exponent reported.

Brown wrote that the agreement is subject to ratification by the teachers’ union and approval by the school’s board of directors.

The details of the new contract have not yet been released. Much of  the contention had centered on the amount that the school contributes to the teachers’ retirement accounts.

School officials had argued that the economic times left them no choice but to cut its matching funds.

A federal mediator took part in the negotiations. The two sides sat down to talk after parents mounted an intense campaign to settle the dispute.

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