Harlem Schools May Open Friday

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Students in the Harlem School District could be back in class Friday. Thursday night the School Board accepted a proposal from the teachers union.

The two sides will enter into binding arbitration allowing a third party to finalize a contract agreement. Both sides will meet again Thursday at 11:00 a.m. to work on the terms of arbitration. After that, the teacher negotiation team will present the entire deal to the union at 2:00 p.m.

At that point, teachers could vote to end the strike that has cost students the first nine days of school. So far both sides have agreed to a three-year contract proposal with a pay freeze for the first year. The main sticking point continues to be the teachers' pay schedule for years two and three of the contract.

The board has agreed to reinstate insurance once the teachers return to school. The district cancelled insurance effective Tuesday.