Everyone Wins, Everyone Loses In CTU-CPS Tentative Agreement

CHICAGO (CBS) —  A lot of people didn’t expect to see Chicago Public School kids leaving school today.

After a last-minute contract deal kept teachers and 380,000 kids in class, CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker takes a closer look at the agreement, the winners and the losers.

These are the players: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Forrest Claypool, CEO of the Chicago Public Schools and Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union.

It took 18 months for all three players to reach a tentative agreement, and according to labor expert Bob Bruno, everyone walks away with a win and a loss.

He said the biggest win for teachers is, “Being able to effectively bargain to access TIF funds.”

That’s a win for teachers because TIF funds, short, for tax increment financing (or funding), is money that is typically used for city projects or private investments. But 88 million will now help fund the teachers new contract.

The mayor, who for 18 months said “we’re not going to use that money,” all of sudden is compelled use it, Bruno says.

A loss for teachers: health insurance. They must now contribute more. As for the board, their win: no major increase in staff.

“Counselors,  librarians, that’s something they were resolutely opposed to, claiming there was no funding,” Bruno said.

However, a loss for the school board could be the $7 million they’d agreed to earmark for teachers assistants in K-through 2nd grade classes.

Bruno says both sides win on the pension issues.

The board agrees to give new hires a pay raise for a couple of years from now on. All new teachers will pay 7 percent towards their pension. But the board continues to pay the 7 percent for current teachers.

As for the mayor, Bruno says his major win: no teachers strike, like the one in 2012. His loss, having to divert TIF money to the teachers.

“I don’t think we’ve heard the last of using TIF funds for the public schools, so I think the mayor opened up a pandora’s box,” Bruno said.

The biggest winners are the students, who get to remain in school.

The tentative agreement now must be ratified by the 25,000 Chicago Teachers Union members. The union’s House of Delegates is expected to meet later this week to recommend members accept the contract.


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