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Teachers union will decide today whether to end strike

SHARE Teachers union will decide today whether to end strike

Chicago teachers will decide today whether to call off their weeklong strike. Union delegates will gather at 3 p.m. at a Near South Side union hall to hear details of an agreement negotiators reached Friday and attorneys were putting on paper all day Saturday.

If delegates decide the contract is acceptable, kids could be back in school Monday.

In a release to news media, union president Karen Lewis said, “We believe this is a good contract,” though she added that “no contract will solve all the inequities in our district.”

The union says the deal offers 3 percent cost of living raises to teachers this year. They’d get 2 percent raises in each of the next two years. The union says agreements were reached on teacher evaluations and job security in the face of school closures, but neither the union nor the school district has released specifics or contract language yet.

Union president Lewis’s statement says teachers have been on strike because “we all believe there is an assault on our profession and public education in general.”

That was a theme echoed at a rally Saturday on the city’s West Side. Jen McSurley, a teacher at Galileo Scholastic Academy, was there and spent last week on the picket line.

“The whole time we’ve been out there we talk about our lesson plans, we talk about grading. But we want back. I want back in on Monday. So, that’s what I’m hoping for.”

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