Chicago Public Schools teachers will be heading to work on Monday, but talks of a potential strike are ongoing and sources say the teachers union is eyeing a date in October.
With students arriving Sept. 6 for the first day of school, teachers will have a week of preparing for the new school year.
Teachers have been working without a contract for more than a year and if no agreement is reached the union is discussing a strike date of Oct. 17, or sooner, according to sources close to the decision. The Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates has not yet voted on the strike date, but will meet Sept. 7 with setting a strike date on the agenda.
Some union members want the teachers to walk off the job on the first day of school, however, the mid-October date allows teachers to receive two pay checks as the new school year begins.
The CTU's recent newsletter says, “CTU members are so angry that many have said they’re ready to strike now before school is set to open.”
But it adds “With a few weeks and a few paychecks under our belts, the Union will be strong, united and ready for whatever the Board may bring.”
One of the other factors in waiting until October, members of the union tell NBC 5, is teachers must re-enroll in late September to receive healthcare benefits. They want to wait for any walk out to take place until after they’ve done that.
Union leaders have to file a 10-day strike notice with the State Labor Board once the official date is agreed upon.
The latest contract proposal called for the union to phase in the acceptance of paying their own 7 percent pension payments. CTU President Karen Lewis says teachers will strike if the pension payment is imposed on them.