Fox Valley Labor News
Thursday, April 21, 2016
CHICAGO — Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said April 18 a report by an independent fact-finder on contract negotiations was “dead on arrival” since it was essentially the same offer the Board of Education had made and the union had rejected.
As to what she would tell parents about the possibility of strike, Lewis said: “Be prepared.”
The proposal Lewis had once said was a “serious offer” from the Board of Education proposed net raises over four years, the phasing out of over two years of a 7 percent pension contribution CPS has been making for members, and a return to raises for continuing education and experience for teachers as soon as next school year.
But now, Lewis said CPS negotiators has even told them the broke school district can no longer even afford that offer. Lewis said CTU has bargained in good faith but argued CPS has not.
“Why are we talking about this as if some magical revenue fix has appeared . . . ? Lewis asked. “CPS is searching for cash under rocks, seat cushions and their uncles’ pants pockets,” she said.
Lewis said union officials will head back to the bargaining table with the Board of Education April 21 and that no decision has been made whether there could be a strike at the end of this school year or the beginning of the next.
The union has another 28 days as part of a cooling off period, then must file a 10-day notice of its intention to strike before doing it, putting a strike near the end of the school year as the earliest CTU could take that action.