CTU Strike Still Looms as Negotiations Continue

With the year-round Chicago public school year set to begin in a few days, the Chicago Teachers Union is making sure the public realizes the contract is not yet a done deal. 

"While we continue to bargain in good faith, CTU members continue to prepare for a work stoppage in September when most of them are required to return to the classroom," the CTU said Thursday in a statement, noting teachers have been without a contract since June 30.

While the two sides have an interim agreement on the longer day, other issues are not yet decided, including class size, a new evaluation process requiring 40 percent of teacher reviews be based on students’ performance, health benefits and, a big one, pay.

The CTU and CPS are in negotiations Thursday.

The union said in a press release it may strike after a 30-day "cooling off period" following the fact-finder's results as long as it first gives the school district a 10-day notice of the intent to strike.

Both sides rejected an independent arbitrator's report and expressed a desire to continue talks to resolve long-standing issues.

The report found a longer school day will mean 20 percent more work for teachers, and suggested a pay raise of 15 to 20 percent. A raise that size would mean larger class sizes and significant layoffs, something neither side wants in the end.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the report wasn't "tethered to reality."


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