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Fines Mounting For Strikers In New Jersey

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A three-week-long teacher strike continued last week in Elizabeth, N.J., despite mounting court-ordered fines totaling more than $80- million as of mid-week.

Judge Frederick C. Kentz of New Jersey Superior Court imposed the fines on the Elizabeth Education Association and the New Jersey Education Association when the 2,000 school employees refused the judge's order to return to work Sept. 10, two days after the strike began.

Each organization was fined $10,000 for the first day after the order. That amount has been doubled daily and added to the previous day's balance. If an agreement cannot be reached in the salary dispute by Oct. 5, Judge Kentz has ordered that the teachers be fired and that the associations pay a combined total of more than $2 billion in fines.

In Little Rock, Ark., 1,700 teachers went on strike over a salary dispute last week, initiating the first teachers' strike in state history. Nearly 26,000 students are affected by the strike. A union spokesman said that with the help of a federal mediator, a settlement was possible over the weekend.

Teachers in Chicago and school-bus drivers in Boston continued their strikes last week.--rrw

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