CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago teachers on Saturday woke up to a new contract following an 11-day strike and a vote to accept.
The Chicago Teachers Union announced late Friday that it voted to accept a tentative contract with the city.
Members voted 81 percent “yes” to ratify the contract with Chicago Public Schools, according to the CTU. Rank-and-file members cast their votes over the last two days.
The agreement was reached after 11 school days of teachers striking, which ended on Halloween.
As CBS 2’s Vi Nguyen reported Saturday morning, the union said the contract is a powerful gain for students and their schools, and said their fight was all about shifting values and priorities in Chicago.
Under the new contract, teachers will get a 16% pay raise over five years. That means the average teacher’s salary will earn about $100,000 a year.
Class sizes will be capped at 28 students in lower grade levels and 31 students at higher grades.
The contract provisions also include class size caps and enforcement, sanctuary protections for immigrant and refugee students and a nurse and social worker in every school each day.
“This contract is a powerful advance for our city and our movement for real equity and educational justice for our school communities and the children we serve,” said CTU President Jesse Sharkey in a written news release.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools officials will have to make some changes to CPS’ $5.5 billion budget to make sure everything is covered and paid for.
In a joint statement late Friday evening, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CPS CEO Dr. Janice Jackson said they were “pleased” teachers voted to ratify the agreement:
“This historic, fiscally-responsible agreement includes investments and initiatives that will build on the incredible progress our schools have made and support our commitment to equity. We are proud of the significant benefits the agreement will provide to our staff, students and families, and we look forward to all that our school community will accomplish together over the next five years.”