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School Strike Over In West Chicago

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WEST CHICAGO (CBS) — More than 4,000 students in West Chicago will return to classrooms Thursday morning after teachers and school district officials hammered out a “tentative agreement” that ends a three-day strike.

Teachers in West Chicago Elementary School District 33 began picketing Monday after contract talks dissolved. Some of the main sticking points between the teachers’ union and district officials were salaries and health insurance premiums.

Details on the tentative agreement were not immediately available early Thursday, but a message on the district’s website indicated that the agreement would be good for three years.

“The Teachers’ Union is ending the strike and presenting the tentative agreement to its members later today,” the message said. “West Chicago students will be back in the regular classrooms on Thursday morning. Parents will be notified via the District’s established methods.”

School officials have long said budgetary restrictions would force them to place a cap on how much it pays for health insurance.

The district employs 282 certified staff members and oversees six elementary schools, a preschool and a middle school.

Union and district officials have been negotiating for more than 17 months.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)