The Chicago Teachers Union announced a tentative contract agreement with the school board minutes before a midnight strike deadline, meaning classrooms in the city will be open Tuesday.
The two sides narrowly averted what would have been the second strike of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s tenure after nearly 12 hours of talks Monday. The four year deal agreed to by union leaders still needs to be ratified by the CTU’s House of Delegates and voted on by full membership. […]
Lewis said the contract includes a commitment from the school board on kindergarten through second grade class sizes and on teacher layoffs and recalls. The settlement also deals with the teacher pension pickup, long a hangup in contract talks, Lewis said.
Under the proposed contract, CTU members hired before Dec. 31, 2016, will keep the pension pickup. “The new hires will not have it, but they will get at some point a salary adjustment,” Lewis said. “So it’s about compensation.”
It’s not yet clear how the Board of Education will pay for the new deal, or how much of the tax-increment financing money the union has sought as a solution for the cash-strapped district could be tapped.
According to the four-year agreement published early Tuesday morning, teachers will keep in years two, three and four the raises they get for added experience and education known as steps and lanes, raises the Board had suspended during negotiations. Cost of living raises of 2 percent and then 2.5 percent also are forthcoming in the third and fourth years of the deal, Lewis said. Teachers are currently in year two of the agreement that would replace the contract that expired in June 2015. […]
The Board also committed in writing to sending more help to crowded kindergarten to second-grade classrooms during the second semester, and has earmarked $7 million each year of the deal to staff those same grades. And it agreed to find a solution in tandem with the CTU to somehow free counselors and special ed teachers from case management duties starting in the 2017-18 school year.
Earlier district proposals to reopen the contract if CPS couldn’t entice 1,500 teachers and several hundred more aides to retire early have been eliminated, and CPS also agreed to form an advisory committee of two CTU members, two Board members and CPS’ finance chief to discuss budget issues.
At the press conference last night, a pricetag of $200 million for additional costs was mentioned. The tentative agreement is here.