Chicago Teachers Union votes to authorize strike

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CHICAGO -- The results are in. The Chicago Teachers Union has voted to strike.

This is certainly the last thing the Mayor and school board want to see. With everything else going on in the city, imagine 27,000 teachers picketing.

It was last Wednesday that the teachers went behind closed doors and started voting.

This vote lays the groundwork for a work stoppage. It would be the second strike in three years.

CPS faces a $500 million budget shortfall and a $1.1 billion structural deficit.

The district has warned that without help from Springfield it will have to start laying off teachers at the start of the second semester.

CTU says 96 percent of members who voted said " yes" to a strike. That's well above the 75 percent threshold needed.

Negotiations will continue but the Union says it won't accept layoffs and Mayor Emanuel needs to get more creative about finding new revenue.

With the authorization of the strike, union leadership now has a big bargaining tool. There are still many legal steps before the strike. The soonest if could happen is March.

The teachers say they don't want to strike, but they will.



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