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Contract deal for UFT said to be near

An agreement appears close between Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration and the United Federation of Teachers for a new contract, a union source said last night.

The teachers, without a contract since 2009, have been demanding billions of dollars in raises and back pay.

The final language for a new labor deal was still being worked out, the source said.

A UFT settlement could set the tone for the rest of the open city labor contracts with firefighters, cops, sanitation workers and more.

The teachers union has been clamoring for retroactive raises that former Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city could not afford without going into a budgetary hole, an assertion labor union economists dispute.

The de Blasio administration has been tight-lipped on teachers' raises but has sought concessions on health insurance contributions.

A UFT pact would be de Blasio's first major contract settlement. Every one of the 150-plus municipal contracts lapsed under Bloomberg, a situation de Blasio complained was "unprecedented."

The Bloomberg administration countered that the unions bet a Democrat would succeed him and thought they could get a better deal with the successor.

At a UFT conference last Saturday, de Blasio spoke to rousing applause and standing ovations.

"Can't think of anyplace else I'd rather be, to tell you the truth," he told the union members.

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