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Michigan Teachers Return to Work

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Public-school teachers in Pontiac, Mich., returned to classes without a contract last week, while strikes moved into their second week in Flint and Marquette.

In Seattle, negotiators were scheduled to resume talks last Thursday in an effort to resolve the largest teachers' strike in the nation.

A spokesman for the Seattle Public Schools said that although some minor differences between the teachers' union and the school board had been resolved, a settlement remained far from sight. The walkout has kept some 43,500 students out of school.

Classes opened for about 18,000 students in Pontiac last Monday, even though the district's 1,000 teachers had not yet negotiated a contract with the city's school board. Negotiators for the board and the Pontiac Education Association were expected to continue talks through the end of last week.

In Rhode Island, members of the Pawtucket Teachers Alliance--an American Federation of Teachers affiliate--remained on strike late last week. The walkout has delayed the start of classes for the city's 12,000 public-school students.

A teachers' strike was averted in Buffalo early last week, due largely to the efforts of a state mediator, according to press reports.

The mediator, Ben Falcigno, met separately with representatives of the Buffalo Teachers Federation and the city's school board on Sept. 7. About 2,000 of the city's 3,500 teachers had voted the day before to strike if they did not have a new contract by the time they were scheduled to report to work on Sept. 9.

According to a spokesman for the Buffalo school board, the new contract will provide teachers with pay raises of about 12 percent.--tm

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