Chicago Teachers Union Begins New Strike Authorization Vote

CHICAGO (CBS) — After going more than a year without a contract, Chicago Public Schools teachers were set to vote again Wednesday on whether or not to go on strike.

The Chicago Teachers Union has urged its 30,000 members – including CPS teachers and other staff – to vote before school, and drop off their ballot at designated schools.

CTU members can vote at their schools or at nearly a dozen different drop-off locations on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday.

Teachers have gone without a contract since June 2015. Last December, teachers voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike, and in April staged a one-day walkout, but the union has not given the state any notice of its intent to stage an open-ended strike.

Analysts have said a second vote to authorize a strike would send a strong message to CPS that teachers are willing to walk off the job if they don’t get what they want in contract talks.

At the beginning of the school year, CPS and CTU officials said both sides have continued to meet, but neither the district nor the union seemed optimistic about reaching a deal anytime soon.

The soonest teachers could strike would be the middle of October.

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