CPS, Teachers Union Pay Raise Stalemate Continues
By Chuck Sudo in News on Aug 23, 2011 2:05PM
Talks have broken down between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union on negotiating a cost of living wage increase, meaning teachers will enter the school year without a pay raise for the first time since 1994.
The Chicago School Board voted to rescind a 4 percent pay raise due teachers in June by invoking a "reasonable expectations" clause in the collective bargaining agreement and claiming, since the school system already was faced with a massive budget deficit, they couldn't afford the $100 million for the pay raises.
CTU President Karen Lewis immediately announced the union''s intention to negotiate a pay raise with CPS. The union even said it would accept a lower pay raise. The School Board said it couldn't afford a pay raise “of any amount between 0 and 4 percent.”
The breakdown in talks could further speculation the Teachers Union will go on strike for the first time since 1987. CTU's House of Delegates meets today to discuss re-opening the existing contract or to negotiate a successor to the current contract. Re-opening the current contract could lead to a strike, but it also raises the possibility for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to impose a longer school day and year.