CTU sets strike authorization date

by Abel Hampton September 9, 2016, 2:40
CTU sets strike authorization date

The union has raised the possibility of a strike as soon as October, but Lewis would not commit to a timetable, other than to say the union would fulfill the requirement for advance notice.

Teachers have been without a contract since June 2015.

A vote taken in December by secret ballot turned out 88 percent of total voting membership supporting strike authorization, but the Board of Education is challenging the validity of that vote's timing, saying that negotiations weren't far enough along. Eichhorn thinks it'll be harder to reach an agreement this time because a proposed contract that CTU President Karen Lewis publically favored in January was unanimously rejected by Eichhorn and the 40 member bargaining team in February. In April 2016, the union held a "day of action" to protest state and city cuts to education that have lead to thousands of teacher layoffs and millions in cuts to school funding for CPS. "There is never any good time to not strike", Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said as union members met this week during the start of fall classes.

The House of Delegates for the Chicago Teachers Union will meet today, and could set a date for a strike.

Schools CEO Forrest Claypool has said if the state doesn't come through, the district will have to cut money from classrooms.

The district has pitched phasing out the longtime practice of picking up most of the teachers' pension contribution, offering a total base wage increase in a four-year contract. "Police officers pay half, firefighters pay half, it is their pension they need to pay into it", Emanuel said. "Forty-seven percent of districts in the state of IL have a pension pick up", Lewis said.

But talks resumed Wednesday, during which some new ideas were floated to the Board that are being considered, Lewis said.

"The mayor didn't get those gains - who got the gains?" "Who got those gains?" District officials lodged an unfair labor practices complaint, calling the strike illegal.


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