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Report: Teachers Call For Big Raise In Contract Negotiations

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Chicago Public Schools

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago teachers reportedly are proposing a huge raise as they begin negotiations with the Chicago Public Schools system.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, the Chicago Teachers Union reportedly has proposed a nearly 30 percent raise over two years.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

According to documents obtained by the Chicago Tribune, the teachers are calling for a 24 percent raise for the 2012-2013 school year, and 5 percent raise the following year.

They are also proposing smaller class sizes, and that the school system place at least one librarian, and an art, physical education and music teacher in each school, the Tribune reported.

As one might expect, a union officer tells the newspaper that the start of contract talks has been rocky.

Last year, the union got into a public fight with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and schools chief executive officer Jean-Claude Brizard, after the Chicago School Board canceled 4 percent pay raises that were part of the teachers’ contract.

The Teachers Union also took issue with plans for a longer school day, a cause that Emanuel and Brizard have championed since they took office.

The union was infuriated when Emanuel and Brizard urged schools to break ranks with the union and go ahead with the longer school day on their own. The schools that complied received an extra $150,000 in funding from CPS, and teachers at the schools received $1,250 bonuses and 2 percent raises.

The union then sought an injunction to block the longer day from taking effect this year. Teachers Union president Karen Lewis argued that Emanuel and Brizard violated the union’s contract by allowing some schools to break ranks.

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