CHICAGO (CBS) — Teachers at more than 500 schools in Chicago will vote next on whether to ratify a tentative five-year contract agreement reached last week with the Chicago Public Schools.
The Chicago Teachers Union said teachers will vote on the tentative agreement on Nov. 14 and 15. If ratified by the union, the contract would then have to be approved by the Chicago Board of Education.
The vote comes two weeks after union suspended a teachers’ strike that had lasted 11 school days. The union represents approximately 25,000 teachers and other staff at 514 district-run schools.
If teachers were to reject the tentative agreement, the House of Delegates would have to vote to resume the strike.
The tentative contract agreement between CTU and CPS includes a total raise of 16 percent over five years, plus additional raises based on teacher seniority. The deal also includes provisions to hire hundreds of nurses and social workers, phased in over the life of the contract; new limits on class sizes – 28 for kindergarten through 3rd grade, 31 for 4th-8th grade, and 25 to 31 students for high school, depending on the type of class.
Union officials said it also includes terms to provide coordinators for students who require homeless services, and sanctuary school protections for immigrant and refugee teachers and families.
CTU delegates approved the tentative agreement on Wednesday, but did not immediately end the strike, calling on Mayor Lori Lightfoot to agree to make up for all the school days that had been lost. Lightfoot refused to make up all 11 days, and after meeting with CTU President Jesse Sharkey for about two hours on Thursday, settled on making up five of the lost days, ending the strike.
CPS officials have not yet said when those makeup days will be scheduled.