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CHICAGO (STMW) – Marking the start of what is expected to be contentious contract negotiations, the Chicago Teachers Union made its first round of demands to the Chicago Board of Education.
While CTU President Karen Lewis called a news conference to announce just that, she remained uncharacteristically mum about what teachers and other staff are asking for in their next contract. The current contract expires June 30.
“While we certainly cannot negotiate contract proposals and details in the press at this time, we can share with you the fact that we will be advocating for the practices, support and resources which all of our schools, including our neighborhood schools, need and which our students more importantly deserve,” Lewis said during Friday’s news conference.
Lewis told the Chicago Sun-Times on Saturday: “Literally, everything is on the table.”
That includes a demand for pay increases and expanded benefits, particularly as CPS moves toward a longer 7 1/2-hour school day across the system next year.
In an emailed statement about the looming negotiations, CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll hinted at what the union is seeking: “Our students have been short-changed by this system for too long, and their academic needs must come first. Our goal is to negotiate a contract that treats our teachers fairly and as professionals, but also one that is negotiated in the best interest of our students, parents and taxpayers during these difficult fiscal times.
“A Full School Day that provides students with the time they need in front of a teacher to succeed in math, science and reading is an essential tool in reaching that goal, and we look forward to collaborating with our teachers as well as principals, parents and our communities when we implement a Full School Day this fall.”
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)