Thursday, January 28, 2016

No CTU Strike?

CTU and CPS Make Deal to Avoid Strike?
By Jim Vail

Did the CTU just make a concessionary contract deal with a mayor on the ropes? 

An email went out to all Chicago Teacher Union members today from President Karen Lewis that read:  

"After a period of intense and difficult bargaining, the CTU has received a serious off from CPS."

The question is how serious is this offer?

Lewis wrote that the "basic framework calls for economic concessions in exchange for enforceable protections of education quality and job security."

According to a source close to the "Big Bargaining Team," - a 40-member committee of teachers, teacher aides and clinicians (nurses, social workers, clerks, etc.), here are some details that the union is keeping mum on so far:

1) Step and lane changes with automatic salary increase based on experience and advanced degrees is reinstated (it currently is not being honored this year);

2) Layed-off teachers will received regular teacher pay and not drastically reduced cadre-substitute pay for a year while subbing and trying to find another job;

3) More autonomy for grading papers (some teachers are upset the networks demand a certain number of grades per week);

4) Pension pickup is phased out - NO MORE!;

5) A four or five-year contract will require the teachers to take a pay cut the first two years, but raises in the later part will make up and give the teachers a slight raise over the course of the contract.

The source said that the bargaining members will go to their schools and ask their teachers what they think about the possible deal.

A bigger question to ask is, how different is it than the one Chicago Public Schools Forrest Claypool recently offered and the CTU turned him down, ridiculing the offer.

The CTU leadership has stated that they will strike over eliminating the pension pickup. The democrats, with whom the CTU is closely aligned, may have forced the union's hand to give concessions to Springfield so that the state monies will be released and a state takeover of the schools avoided.

CTU said more details will be released very shortly. Stay tuned! 

Dear James:
After a period of intense and difficult bargaining, the Chicago Teachers Union has received a serious offer from CPS. The CTU requires that any Tentative Agreements be made by its Big Bargaining Team—a 40 member committee of teachers, PSRPs and clinicians—which will convene, deliberate, and vote on Monday. While the Union will not release details of the offer without Big Bargaining Team approval, the basic framework calls for economic concessions in exchange for enforceable protections of education quality and job security. If the Union is able to reach a Tentative Agreement, delegates will be apprised of details shortly.

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