Teachers union preparing for strike authorization vote - FOX 32 News Chicago

Teachers union preparing for strike authorization vote

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Chicago Teachers Union is hours from deciding whether or not it will strike as last second preparations are underway by the union and its president, Karen Lewis.

A lot of people are keeping their eye on the situation because it affects so many people, not just the teachers, but the families that could potentially be impacted by this.

They want to get the word out to all of the teachers in the union to let them know what this is all about.

Teachers will be voting on strike authorization Wednesday. Their contract ends in 25 days, on June 30.

CPS and the teachers union would like to seal the deal but they aren't there yet.

The two sides are far apart on salary to compensate for a longer school day. The union is asking for 30 percent more pay over a two year deal. CPS has offered 2 percent over a 5 year deal with a chance for teachers to earn more in a merit pay system. The union has never liked linking salary to performance since measuring success is a tricky business. The district is preaching partnership. 

"We can't afford 30 percent but we do expect them to get a raise and we want to make sure that teachers hear that very loudly from us, that you've got colleagues and folks who understand your life who are running this district who want to support what you do everyday," CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard said.

A strike authorization vote does not mean they are going to strike. It gives the union the authorization to decide if they want to do a work stoppage.

They need 75 percent of the vote and according to Lewis, they have that.

However, the Chicago Public Schools says they cannot understand why the teachers union is jumping the gun, saying they are still in the negotiating process.

 Brizard says the vote is premature.

"It's premature so I don't know what they're voting on because we're still talking, we're still in the middle of a process," said Brizard.

Brizard says he really wishes that the teachers would have a chance to look at the complete offer before they take the strike authorization vote, but the teachers union says it's not up to CPS how they run the union.


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