The Chicago Teachers Union's House of Delegates has approved a tentative contract agreement with the city after averting a strike earlier this month.
The agreement now needs to be ratified by all union members.
“The CTU’s House of Delegates took an important step forward today in recommending that teachers ratify this tentative agreement," said Emily Bittner, communications director for Chicago Public Schools, in a statement. "After negotiating closely with President Karen Lewis and the CTU’s leadership, we believe that this is a fair contract for both parties because it would give teachers a raise, improve their quality of life in the classroom and most importantly, allow students to continue building on their monumental achievements.”
At the razor's edge of the midnight deadline for a threatened teachers strike, the union announced weeks ago that it had come to a potential contract agreement with Chicago Public Schools.
Part of the agreement involves additional revenue in TIF money. CPS had originally offered $32 million but now the mayor's office confirms $175 million will be set aside with $88 million of it going to Chicago Public Schools.
Late last month, the union's governing body announced plans to strike on Tuesday, Oct. 11, after teachers voted nearly unanimously to authorize a strike this month.
The union said 95 percent of members voted in favor of a strike amid an ongoing contract battle with Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Board of Education.
“This should come as no surprise to the Board, the mayor or parents because educators have been angry about the school-based cuts that have hurt special education students, reduced librarians, counselors, social workers and teachers’ aides, and eliminated thousands of teaching positions,” the union said in a statement.
The contract battle has been going on for months.
Striking points include funding for teachers and schools. The district had previously offered raises, but asked teachers to pay more towards pensions and health care. Instead, the Chicago Teachers Union wanted the city to use surplus tax increment dollars to fill the financial gaps.