The Bargaining Table: What CPS, CTU Will Discuss Before Strike Date | WBEZ
Skip to main content


The Bargaining Table: What CPS, CTU Will Discuss Before Strike Date

Updated 5:22 P.M.

Chicago Public Schools teachers announced Wednesday they will go on strike Oct. 11 if the city and the teachers union cannot agree on a new contract.

But a strike isn’t guaranteed, and both sides said they will continue bargaining.

Why is CTU unhappy with the contract CPS is offering?

The contract on the table offers an 8.75 percent raise over four years, but the two sides disagree on how variables like health care and pension costs calculate into take-home pay.

WBEZ mapped out how each side defines those variables here.

CTU also said it wants the city to release more Tax Increment Financing funds to CPS.

What are TIFs and why do they matter?

TIFs are a tax mechanism meant to spur economic development.

CTU has said Mayor Rahm Emanuel could stop a strike by giving more of the money coming from TIFs to CPS.

Chicago City Council’s Finance Committee is meeting one day after the strike is set to start and voting on an ordinance that would require all TIF surplus to go to Chicago schools. CTU may be hoping a strike will pressure aldermen to move the ordinance forward.

Is it likely that the two sides will come to an agreement before Oct. 11? Here’s what people are saying:

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel: "I am optimistic because I don’t think that teachers want to disrupt what they are doing and have passion for, and I don’t think that parents want to see their kids education disrupted."

Gov. Bruce Rauner: “I hope the two sides can come together. Unfortunately, Chicago Public Schools has been financially mismanaged and structurally mismanaged for decades and the mismanagement is coming home to roost.

I’ve got challenges for the state that I’m focused on. The contract negotiations (are) between the mayor and the CPS board and Forrest Claypool and the teachers’ union leaders and they’re the ones handling that. I’m not involved and our administration’s not involved.”

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill:: “Springfield has been very little help when it comes to the Chicago Public School system, primarily the governor, who is not engaged as he should, with the biggest school district in our state. So I’m troubled by it. I’m worried by it. I haven’t been asked to intervene. I don’t know that I can bring any magic to it. I certainly can’t bring any federal funds beyond what is scheduled, but I would do anything I could do avoid it."

Lisa Johnson, CPS parent: "I can’t believe it is actually coming. I hope not for the sake of the kids. I go with the teachers. They trying they are trying to help the kids. I am rooting for the teachers for this one."

Alex Retter, CPS parent: "I think that CPs has a certain stigma. You have to understand that. If you go to work in CPS, you know it is underfunded, it’s a tough job, overcrowded schools and you choose to work there. If you think it is going to change, it could be wishful thinking."

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.