CHICAGO– The Chicago Teachers Union may be moving away from a possible strike. The CTU says they have received a serious offer from Chicago Public Schools. A committee of teachers and others will gather Monday to deliberate and vote.
Any deal would have to be approved by the union's House of Delegates before a contract could be finalized.
The union isn’t releasing details about the offer but CTU President Karen Lewis released the following statement Thursday evening:
“After a period of intense and difficult bargaining, the CTU has received a serious offer from Chicago Public Schools. The CTU requires that any Tentative Agreements be made by its Big Bargaining Team, a 40 member committee of teachers, PSRP’s and clinicians, which will convene, deliberate, and vote on Monday. While the Union will not release details of the offer without Big Bargaining Team approval, the basic framework calls for economic concessions in exchange for enforceable protections of education quality and job security. If the Union is able to reach a Tentative Agreement, delegates will be apprised of details shortly.”
In response, CPS issued this statement:
“As the CTU leadership said, CPS has put a serious offer on the table that would prevent midyear teacher layoffs. This offer is a true compromise that requires sacrifices from both sides so that we can protect what is most important: the gains our students are making in their classrooms. We will continue to work around the clock to reach consensus on an agreement that is the best interests of our students, educators and parents.”
Just yesterday CPS put off an offer to borrow up to $875 million.
The wild card in all if this is state republicans have proposed legislation that would allow the state to take over the cash-strapped district, and also allow the district to declare bankruptcy-- an idea that immediately met with opposition from Mayor Emanuel, CPS CEO Forrest Claypool and the CTU's Lewis.
Union approval would mean Emanuel would not see a repeat of a teacher strike like in 2012 at a time when he has been on the political hit seat over fatal shootings by Chicago police and ongoing protests of recent months calling for his resignation that have dominated the headlines and even made national news.