Teachers Union Says It Would Accept Lower Raises

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Teachers Union says it would accept a lower cost-of-living salary increase for the current school year.

As WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports, the already-settled Teachers Union contract calls for 4 percent raises.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports

But in June, the Chicago School Board voted not to give those raises in the face of a budget deficit of more than $700 million.

In its compromise, the union is proposing raises at the level of the increase in the local consumer price index, which it says will save the board $25 million.

But the School Board says it cannot afford any cost of living pay hike “of any amount between 0 and 4 percent,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Legally, because the Board failed to live up to its contract obligations by not giving an already agreed to raise, the union has the right to terminate the current contract, if it so desires.

That will be decided later Tuesday in a vote by its house of delegates.

The Sun-Times reports reopening the current contract could pave the way for a strike, but could also make it easier for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to impose his long-stated goal of lengthening the school day and school year.

The Teachers Union has warned previously that a strike could be a consequence of the vote to cancel the pay raise.

In June, union president Karen Lewis said: “It very well could (lead to a strike), but the operative word here is ‘could.’ That would be the will of the membership.”

The last teachers’ strike was in the fall of 1987 when Harold Washington was mayor, and lasted four weeks. It was similarly prompted by the denial of a pay raise the Chicago Board of Education said it couldn’t afford, according to past published reports.

Teachers have gotten contractual 4 percent pay hikes the past four years. Administrators and other non-union employees haven’t seen raises in two years, and were forced to take as many as 15 unpaid furlough days this year.

  • Smash Crasher

    4% for four straight years. Whether they perform or whether their students can do basic math or construct a simple sentence? No wonder there is no money left. That is literally unheard of in the private sector. I work in manufacturing and the operators and mechanics here received a 2.6% raise this year after going two years with no raises. Four percent is totally ridiculous. Learn to live like the rest of the working fools in this country who can’t hide their worthless pathetic, lying, whining butts behind a pathetic criminal union. Teachers equal taxpayer parasites and nothing more.

    • LOTD

      Agreed and very well put!!! Anyone who wants to challenge the statement above, please compare the salaries of private, non-union school teachers and the achievements and scores of their students with those of the CPS . BUT ofcourse we’ll hear the same old excuses…………………over crowded classrooms, under-funded, blah blah!

  • ChicagoCitizen

    Unfortunately the best teacher in the world can be put in a classroom with students who’s parents are not following through at home, and still get bad results. How many CPS students don’t do their homework, never study at all, and are out on the street at night instead of preparing for the following day’s tests, etc? Half of a teachers success depends on good parenting. And we all know how lacking that is in SOME communities. Student results should not be a measure of the quality of the teacher.

  • Sick Of It

    Unemployment is up for the 3rd straight month in IL. Things aren’t getting better out there. There should be NO pay raise until unemployment drops substantially. If they don’t like it start the layoffs like the private sector does and contines to do.

  • Chivi

    How many teachers sleep, on drugs, texting, doing their personal finances and are drunk while they sit in a class full of students?? How many of them have their students do their work for them like grading papes, cleaning their houses for an A. I know of some teachers. You need cameras in the classrooms. Not only to catch the bad kids but also the bad teachers!! If we don’t do our jobs at work, they don’t look at the way we live they look at our accomplishments while onthe job. Teachers need to take responsiblity for their bad teaching skills. Teachers fall in the category of all the rest ofthe City of Chicago employees. Their are more bad apples than good ones. My sister is a CPS teacher and she wears her girls will never attend a CPS. I wonder why??

  • Ready to Hurl

    Does the city really want to save billions? Start the on-line learning asap. Thousands of people are getting on-line degrees every day. The city already has a program for on-line tutors for a fraction of the cost of a live teacher. 80% of learning can be done on-line and that means 80% less teachers. All the other industries are sending jobs to India, why not teachers. It’s just a matter of time. Illinois teachers need to wake up and see what’s in store for them.

  • Lew

    Let them go on strike and then fire them. Ronald Reagan did that in the 80s when air traffic controllers went on strick. I guarantee you that there will be more than enough people willing to take their place.


    When you walk a mile in the teacher’s moccasins then you can talk…People are so hard on teachers but celebrities, politicians and athletes we have not heard a peep…The foundation starts at home and then the teachers build on that…We have been brain washed to bash the teachers but no one said a word about the Administrated pay raises that the principal get and these people are already making 6 digits…Let’s step back and do our home work and then you can talk. Most of these teachers spend a good portion of their pay supplementing the supplies and activity in the classroom. PEOPLE WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE SMOKE SCREEN AND MIRRORS…THE REAL QUESTIONS IS NOT WHETHER OR NOT THE TEACHERS SHOULD GET A RAISE, IT IS WHERE IS THE MONEY THAT SHOULD BE THERE TO GIVE TO THE TEACHERS WHO DO DESERVE THE 4% INCREASE? HOW ABOUT THAT? DISCUSS THAT….

  • Chivi

    Let them go on strike and fire them. Unions back up bad employees for a buck!! Unions should be called Dollar Stores not unions!!!!

  • sam

    How can a teacher at Dore school in Chicago make $55,000 in 2009 and then make $82000 in 2011 come on

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/08/24/school-board-to-vote-on-budget-amid-controversy/ School Board To Vote On Budget Amid Controversy « CBS Chicago

    […] Earlier this week, the union had asked for a 2 percent raise this year, and then another 2 percent i… […]

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