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Highland Park Teachers Reach Deal, School In Session Today

Teachers picketed Monday afternoon in a show of solidarity in Highland Park. (CBS)

Teachers picketed Monday afternoon in a show of solidarity in Highland Park. (CBS)

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UPDATED: 10/17/2012 10:35 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Teachers and the school board in Highland Park have reached a tentative settlement, ending a one-day strike.

Elementary school students in North Shore School District 112 will be back in school on Wednesday, a union representative said.

Details of the agreement, reached after 17 hours of talks, were not released, but the two side were negotiating over salary and health care benefits.

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The union represents more than 400 teachers in the school system, which serves about 4,300 pupils in Highland Park, Highwood and Fort Sheridan.

“School is open today and all before and after school activities will resume as normal,” a statement from the school board said. “More details will come later.”

Parent Andrea Feldman, who has two kids in the district, said: “I got that phone call at 5 o’clock this morning. It was the best 5 a.m. phone call I have ever gotten.”

The deal comes as a relief to teachers as well. Many people in the district thought the strike would last more than a day.

“So relieved. So excited to see the kids. Glad that it is over,” said Oak Terrace Elementary teacher, Judy Kim.

“It was a long, long day, and night, and morning, but when you realize that the other side, they wanted to get it done, which was wonderful,” said Pamela Kramer, president of the North Shore Education Association, the union representing District 112 teachers.

Kramer walked into negotiations at noon Tuesday, and walked out early Wednesday morning rather pleased.

“I think that in any good contract, both sides didn’t get everything they wanted. A good contract, a good deal is one where both sides walk away feel like a little unhappy, a little disgruntled that they didn’t get everything, but that’s what makes it good,” said Kramer.

Kramer says she feels the contract was fair, and it allowed the school board to keep its fiscal goals. She says most teachers can expect a slight raise.

“We were all happy. To have a strike resolved is huge.”