CTU, Urban Prep Academy Butt Heads On Contract Term

Teachers remain on strike as students take final exams.

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Teachers at the country’s first public charter high school for boys remain on strike as of Tuesday evening.

Urban Prep Academy told NBC 5 that negotiations are expected to resume later in the day.

Tuesday was the first day the Chicago Teachers Union went on strike, after authorizing a strike in late May.

Although the CTU says it's working on several issues, Urban Prep Academy’s chief operating officer says one issue remains unresolved as of Tuesday evening: the term of the contract.

CTU is asking for a one-year deal but Urban Prep administrators want a three-year contract.

“It’s our belief that they will be in a very different situation at the end of next school year,” said CTU attorney Latoyia Kimbrough.

But Urban Prep COO Troy Boyd said a one-year contract is not in the best interest of teachers or students because negotiations for that contract would have to start in just a matter of months.

Boyd said the offer Urban Prep is presenting would mean three years of guaranteed raises for teachers.

As CTU held a rally outside Urban Prep’s Englewood campus, senior students were getting ready to take their final exams of the year. Other students will take their finals next week but review time in class is threatened by the strike as teachers hit the picket lines.

Urban Prep says administrators have temporarily taken the spot of teachers in the classroom.

Brandon Black, a junior student at Urban Prep’s Bronzeville campus, says the strike is needed after seeing how hard his teachers have worked. He admits, the timing makes it difficult to get ready for exams.

"Everyone is kind of stressed out about finals and what’s going to happen, if we’re going to have to make up any days," said Black.

The CTU has said teachers are getting paid thousands of dollars less than CPS teachers.

They’re also pushing for more resources for special education.

Urban Prep remains adamant that it has reached its “statutory responsibilities.”

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