Chicago teachers to vote October 2 on new contract

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 21, 2012 1:49 PM

By Mary Wisniewski

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Chicago teachers will vote October 2 on whether to approve a contract with the nation's third-largest public school district following their first strike in 25 years, school and union officials said on Friday.

Some 350,000 kindergarten, elementary and high school students missed seven school days when teachers walked off the job for the first time since 1987.

Representatives of the 29,000 teachers and support staff voted on Tuesday to suspend the strike and accept a compromise agreement on a new three-year contract with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

A contract must be approved within 10 business days of the suspension of a strike, according to Chicago Teachers Union rules.

The proposed contract, which has an option for a fourth year, calls for an average 17.6-percent pay raise over four years. On the fiercely debated issue of teacher evaluations, it would set up a system based in part on standardized student test results.

Informational packets for teachers will be available in schools on Friday, September 28, CTU spokeswoman Stephanie Gadlin said. Ballots will be picked up October 3.

If approved, the contract would take effect retroactively for the fiscal year that started on July 1.

(Reporting By Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Xavier Briand)