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Teachers Union and CPS Finally Settle on School Day Issue

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Nov 4, 2011 10:00PM

2011_6_27_CPS.jpg After months of wrangling, the Chicago Teachers Union agreed to drop its pending lawsuit against Chicago Public Schools in exchange for CPS stopping aggressively campaigning schools to extend the school day. CTU President Karen Lewis called a meeting on Thursday to discuss the issue; that lasted eight hours before reached agreement. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard have been wrangling with the union for months over the issue of adding 90 minutes to the school day without a pay increase for teachers.

Having lost that battle, Emanuel and Brizard decided to offer pay incentives to teachers at schools that chose to adopt his new schedule. The CTU then claimed that CPS school districts were unfairly "coercing and intimidating" teachers to give into voting for longer school days. They filed a lawsuit, and CTU won a recent legal battle with the state labor relations board over the issue. The mayor's office released a statement today, stating:

A dispute over the decision of these schools to spend 90 more minutes in the classroom would have accomplished nothing for our children. We must focus our efforts on the classroom - not the courtroom.
Well we can rest easy knowing the CTU won't strike, at least until the issue starts another fight when contract negotiations come up next year.