Chicago Teachers Union vote to authorize strike as negotiations continue

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CHICAGO — The Chicago Teachers Union voted Thursday to authorize a strike if no deal is reached in contract negotiations. Union officials believe it took that strike vote for the board to offer a serious proposal Friday. But members of the CTU bargaining team said  the latest proposal is serious but still inadequate and failed to address classroom overcrowding and chronic understaffing.

“It’s almost as if they’re daring us to strike over these issues,” CTU president Jesse Sharkey said. “This is absurd.”

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the district’s proposal, which includes a 16 percent raise in base pay over a five year contract, is night and day from 2012 when teachers went on strike.

The union said the proposal does attempt to address some issues for paraprofessional and school related personnel.

Negotiations will continue on Tuesday.

The earliest the union could go on strike is October 7.

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