Earlier this month, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) released a $5.4 billion budget similar to a deal previously rejected by the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU).
By issuing this budget, some say CPS assumes the CTU will accept contract terms comparable to those rejected by the union in January. The CTU President has expressed that the union will not change its position, as it already rejected these terms earlier in the year.
CPS maintains that the framework of its offer is fair. Though it includes multiple management reforms and efficiencies, the CPS CEO states he feels the CTU will see that the deal’s framework is fair to deal with.
CPS’s proposal phases out the practice of covering significant portions of teacher pension contribution – a practice that has been in place for many years. Union leaders maintain their position that doing away with the pension pickup may lead to a strike.
The contract also raises union insurance premiums to cover pay raises over a four-year period, and promises there will be no economic layoffs. Union leaders say they will not accept a contract that imposes a pay cut.
While the possibility of a strike still exists, union leaders have said members will return to school on time for the fall session, though the union will not go without a contract for a whole year.
CPS reports that the proposed budget is $232 million less than 2015’s budget. The district claims its budget covers the $300 million shortfall that still exists despite the state issuing funding measures for education in June.
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