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VIA THE WASHINGTON POST:

Washington Teachers’ Union president George Parker e-mailed and robo-called members late Wednesday night to say that he hoped details of the long-awaited labor pact with DCPS would be available as early as their return from spring break on April 6. (Break begins Friday).

There have been numerous “peace is at hand” declarations throughout the tortured two-year-plus course of talks between WTU and D.C. Public Schools, but this looks like the real deal. Both sides have been discussing the details of a roll out strategy, and Parker said in the e-mail that informational sessions will be set up for teachers to ask questions about the accord, which is expected to give Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee more latitude to replace ineffective teachers and set up a limited pay-for-performance system.

One big reason the pace has clearly picked up is because Rhee and Parker both know that they are working against the clock. Parker faces a challenge from general vice president Nathan Saunders in union elections scheduled for May. Without a contract that puts new money in the pockets of teachers who haven’t had a raise in close to three years, he could face a tough race. In Saunders, Rhee would be dealing with a new union president who has been among her most outspoken critics.

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