NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ Some 3,000 teachers voted to end their 3-week-old strike immediately and accept a contract offering 7 percent pay raises over the next three years.

''We obviously didn't get all that we wanted, but it's enough to recommend a settlement,'' Nat LaCour, head of United Teachers of New Orleans, said shortly before Sunday night's voice vote to approve the pact.

Teachers were to return to their classrooms today.

According to New Orleans School Board President Carl Robinson, the new contract includes a 3 percent pay raise for the current school year, no raise next year and a 4 percent raise during the 1992-93 school year.

The school board will have to cut $7 million in programs and personnel to finance the new contract, Robinson said.

The board also agreed not to punish strikers in exchange for the teachers agreeing to drop a recall movement against board members, LaCour said.

Some teachers expressed anger over the recall-reprisal agreement, but LaCour said union members agreed to both it and the new contract in separate votes.

''They blackmailed the union that we cannot recall them,'' complained teacher Betty Sapp. ''We're political hostages for the next three years.''

''I went on strike because the board wasn't being fair with us,'' said teacher Virginia Pluta. ''Now I don't think the union is being fair with us. I'm very, extremely upset with the union right now.''

About 3,000 of the 4,500 teachers in Louisiana's largest school district went on strike beginning Sept. 17. School officials used substitutes to help keep classes in session for the district's 68,000 students.