Chicago Teachers Strike Continues

September 16, 2012

We were hoping to report that your kids will have real estate in Chicago to go to Monday that isn’t your own, but unfortunately, the Chicago teachers strike is not over.

The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and Chicago Pubic School officials could not agree on a proposed contract Sunday, which means the week-long strike that has displaced more than 350,000 Chicago students will continue into its second week.

options for students during Chicago Public Schools teachers strikeIt can’t go on forever: The contract must be approved by all union members within two weeks of the start of the strike.

This is the first Chicago teachers strike in 25 years, and it is one that Mayor Rahm Emanuel called “unnecessary” and “a strike by choice.”

CTU President Karen Lewis said the fight is for teachers everywhere.

“Our members are on the line because we all believe there is an assault on our profession and public education in general,” she said. “We showed our solidarity and our strength, and with this new contract we have solidified our political power and captured the imagination of the nation.”

“No one will ever look upon a teacher and think of him or her as a passive, person to be bullied and walked on ever again.”

Some of the highlights of the tentative CTU/CPS contract:

Compensation: This is a three-year contract with a 3% raise the first year and 2% the second and third, with the option to extend to a 4th year with another 3% raise.

Provide a Better School Day: The Board will hire 512 additional teachers in art, music, physical education, languages and other classes, a demand thousands of parents have called for since last year.

Job Security: Contract would create a “CPS Hiring Pool,” requiring half of all of CPS hires must be displaced (laid-off) members.

Tackling School Closings: The CTU will continue its ongoing legal and legislative fight for a moratorium on all school closings, turnarounds and phase-outs.

Fairer Evaluation Procedures: During the first year of the new evaluation procedures there will be “no harmful consequences” for tenured teachers.

Reimbursement for School Supplies: The District must reimburse educators for the purchase of school supplies up to $250.

Additional Wrap-Around Services: The Board agrees to commit to hire nurses, social workers and school counselors if it gets new revenue. Over the past several months, the CTU has identified several sources of new revenue, including the Tax Increment Financing program.

Books on Day One: For the first time, the new contract will guarantee all CPS students and educators have textbooks on day one and will not have to wait up to six weeks for learning materials.

To read more, click Chicago teachers strike.

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