Brizard: Strike authorization vote disrespects teachers

Union calling for an authorization vote "in the coming days"

June 1, 2012

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None of the contract proposals put forward by CPS or the Chicago Teachers Union have been made public yet.

CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard said that’s why the union should wait to take a strike authorization vote.

"What are they voting on?" Brizard said. "You’re asking educated professionals to decide something that they don’t know what they’re deciding on. That is disingenuous and disrespectful of teachers.

Brizard said teachers deserve to see the proposals from both sides and the recommendations of an outside mediator. Both will be released in mid-July.

But union officials have said they want an authorization vote before summer vacation, and before about 2,000 teachers retire.

They say teachers feel "belittled and bullied" by CPS and the mayor's office.

State law now requires 75 percent of the union’s total membership to be on board with a strike. That means the union needs almost all of its members to turn out to vote.

But the law doesn’t define when and how it votes to authorize one.

Lawmakers could change that.

They are now officially out of session, but could get called back to work over the summer.