The teachers’ union in Chicago was protesting for better pay. Chicago teachers were ready to go on strike, demanding a fair contract. But late this Monday talks between Chicago’s schools and the Chicago Teachers Union finally had a positive outcome. The teachers’ union agreed to a contract proposal.
This means that the strike that was planned for Tuesday will no longer take place. Chicago has the third largest public school system in the United States and the strike would have affected a significant number of students. Fortunately, the strike was averted. City officials and representatives of the teachers’ union reached an agreement, after the protests.
The Chicago Teachers Union Agrees to Four Year Deal
The contract proposal offers an agreement for the next four years to Chicago teachers. After negotiations, the Chicago Teachers Union is now going to make the recommendation for teachers to sign the agreement. The CTU has 28,000 members in Chicago, who are most likely going to sign the four-year agreement. The agreement has provisions regarding pensions and other benefits. It also has provisions in place regarding classroom sizes as well as layoffs.
Karen Lewis is the president of the Chicago Teachers Union. She stepped out for a news conference late at midnight, after negotiations with representatives of the city of Chicago.
“We ended up with something that’s good for kids, it’s good for paraprofessionals, it’s good for teachers, for the community,”
Karen Lewis, president of the CTU, said.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel Offers Support to the Cash-strapped School System
Teachers were ready to go on strike starting at midnight this Monday without an agreement being reached. It’s been more than a year since Chicago teachers have been working without having a contract. The last time there was a teachers’ strike was in the year 2012. The strike ended with a new contract being signed. But that contract expired on June 30, 2015. Since then, teachers in Chicago have been without a contract.
Chicago’s school system is independent from the city. But it is still under the control of the mayor. The school system is need of financial help. According to a financial report regarding the budget of the Chicago school system, it ran a deficit of $7 million.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that the four-year agreement is going to make the Chicago school system more financially secure.
“Chicago Public Schools finances will be stronger, and on firmer ground, because of this agreement”
Rahm Emanuel said Tuesday morning during a press conference.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is on his second term and faces multiple challenges in office. He is trying to put a stop to a wave of violence in the city by hiring more police and working closer with communities. At the same time, he is trying to sail through the financial troubles that the city of Chicago has got. On top of everything, there was the teachers’ strike to deal with. The possibility of Chicago teachers going on strike on Tuesday put pressure on the mayor and he agreed to demands formulated by the CTU.
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