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Boston teachers, city reach deal

Sept. 13, 2012 at 12:38 PM

BOSTON, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Teachers and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino have reached a tentative agreement after two years of moribund talks, but critics say its reforms don't go far enough.

City Councilor John Connolly, who heads the panel's education committee, said he thinks the teachers strike that began Monday in Chicago may have played into the Boston settlement, the Boston Herald reported Thursday.

"I thought we would get real reforms," Connolly said, adding that he thought Boston school officials "panicked because of Chicago."

The deal, reached Wednesday, gives teachers 12 percent raises over six years, retroactive to 2010, but does not address the issue of lengthening the school day.

Connolly said hiring reforms touted by Menino and the Boston Teachers Union were "hollow" and did nothing to change the so-called "bumping" rules requiring administrators to place existing teachers that often can result in young teachers with less seniority losing jobs.

Menino said the tentative contract "is great for our students, works for our teachers and it is fair to our taxpayers."

Boston Teachers Union President Richard Stutman said union was successful in negotiating for smaller class sizes at under-performing schools, and for the hiring of new nurses, social workers and special education assistants.

The agreement must be approved by the union, the school board and city council.

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