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Teachers Union Rejects City's Contract Offer, Paving The Way For A Strike

By Mae Rice in News on Feb 1, 2016 10:00PM

CTU And Allies Rally In The Loop Over Contract Concerns In June, 2012. By Aaron Cynic/Chicagoist

The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) turned down a four-year contract offer from the city of Chicago, even though they initially called the deal “a serious offer."

A 40-member bargaining team for the union voted not to send the deal up the union ladder for further approval, according to the Tribune.

Under the rejected deal, CPS would have phased out its contributions to Chicago teachers’ pensions, and new hires would have had to cover all their own pension contributions effective immediately.

Currently, CPS covers 7 percent of the 9 percent teachers are required to pay into their pensions.

The deal had a bright side for teachers, though: It would have capped the number of charter schools in Chicago, too, at the existing 130. The district would have only been able to open a new charter school if another charter school closed.

This was thought of as a lure to the CTU, which has a long-standing opposition to charter schools.

By rejecting the offer, the CTU has paved the way for a teacher strike. However, before a strike can legally occur, negotiations must go through a “fact-finding” phase that lasts at least 120 days.

That would take until the end of May, but wouldn’t carry the school district through the full school year, which ends June 21.