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Chicago Teachers' Union Rejects CPS Offer; Strike as Early as May Looms

Chicago Teachers' Union Rejects CPS Offer; Strike as Early as May Looms

Although many seemed optimistic that the Chicago Teachers Union would accept a ’serious offer’ by way of a four-year contract proposal from Chicago Public Schools, it announced yesterday that it has rejected it; the possibility of a strike as early as May looms.

The CTU said it rejected the offer because "the offer does not address school conditions, a lack of services for some students or the fiscal crisis the nation's third-largest district faces,” said ABC News.

Like many districts throughout the country, Chicago is currently dealing with a budget deficit that the CTU says the contract does not address.

"Union president Karen Lewis said teachers have already given more than $2 billion back to the district over the last five years, including a raise that was rescinded in 2011 and layoffs, including those resulting from school closures,” ABC News said.

Schools CEO Forest Claypool said that the contract seemingly addressed all of the union’s key demands, but said the district is committed to reaching an agreement moving forward.

CTU has already authorized a strike if an agreement cannot be reached; it would be the second strike since 2012, which was the first CPS strike in 25 years.

88 percent of its members authorized the strike in December, and it can occur as early as May. Indeed, the nation’s fourth-largest school district has seen better days.

"Talks picked up after Republicans proposed legislation earlier this year allowing for a state takeover of Chicago schools. The legislators also want to give the district the opportunity to claim bankruptcy. The school district, the union and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel oppose those plans,” ABC News said.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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