CTU officers to hold meetings all week — September 24 through September 28 — to discuss the proposed contract across the city... Voting on the deal set to begin October 2 in all real public schools

On Friday, September 21, 2012, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis announced that the union's four officers would be holding union meetings at schools across the city to discuss the proposed contract. The union's 26,000 active duty members are expected to vote on the proposed agreement during the first week of October, after they have received copies of the wording. (The union's 3,600 retiree members, including this reporter, are ineligible to vote on contracts and strikes under the union's internal rules).

Surrounded by members of the CTU's "Big Bargaining Team" and facing more than 50 reporters and TV camera crews from across the USA, the officers of the Chicago Teachers Union stood in front of Chicago's Merchandise Mart at 10:00 p.m. on September 9, 2012, and announced that the union would strike the nation's third largest school system at midnight. The four officers of the CTU (seen above surrounding President Karen Lewis) are Recording Secretary Michael Brunson, Vice President Jesse Sharkey, and Financial Secretary Kristine Mayle. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.The following is the announcement Lewis made on the union's website (

Officers Will Discuss the Tentative Agreement with CTU Members All Next Week

Monday September 24th at 4:30 p.m. — Hyde Park High School 6220 S. Stony Island

Tuesday September 25th at 4:30 p.m. — Wells High School 936 N. Ashland

Wednesday September 26th at 4:30 p.m. — Kelly High School 4136 S. California

Thursday September 27th at 4:30 p.m. — Marshall High School 3250 W. Adams

Friday September 28th at 4:30 p.m. — Roosevelt High School 3436 W. Wilson

Through our fight, we have secured a good contract and showed the Mayor and the world that CTU will fight for our schools. We have a lot to be proud of, but of course the Tentative Agreement is far from perfect. There were advances, retreats and draws in the process. Please come with any of your questions and concerns.

Summaries of the tentative agreement are available on line. The full document is still in the proofreading stage. It will be available on the website as soon as it is complete.

Central aspects of the tentative agreement (both positive and negative) include:

Defeats Merit Pay and retains Steps and Lanes

Limits the duration of the contract to 3 years with an optional 4th year

Ends unpaid suspensions and establishes the right to grieve unfair discipline

Provides that half of all new hires must be displaced members with either a proficient or excellent rating

Reduces Appendix H benefits from 40 weeks at regular pay to 20 weeks at regular pay followed by 20 weeks in the cadre

Freezes health-care costs

Establishes a new wellness program

Establishes a maternity, paternity and short term disability benefit that can provide 90 days of paid leave and puts a 40-day cap on sick-time bank.

Provides that you keep sick-time already banked

Establishes the right to appeal Unsatisfactory ratings and two consecutive “Developing” ratings to a neutral Appeals Board

Establishes the right to create and design your own lesson plans without format requirements from principals

Establishes additional funding to lower class-size and lower case-loads for social workers, counselors, teacher assistants, psychologists, and special education teachers

Requires that any new state aid for CPS personnel be spent to hire up to 100 additional Social Workers and Counselors

Limits the student growth (test scores) part of our evaluation to the state minimum of 30%

We look forward to going over the tentative agreement. It is important to note that all the things we have won, we won because we fought. The Board’s initial proposal would have slashed our contract to 19 pages, taking away our rights, our benefits and further starving our schools. We protected our union, our jobs and our students because we took the Board to task, not because they wanted to be fair and honest with us.

With school closings looming in December, we must draw on the energy, solidarity and community ties we developed during the strike to keep the momentum going and save our public schools from corporate “reformers.” Please join us.

The union also announced that the balloting on the agreement, which will soon be available to all union members at the union's website, will begin on October 2. According to CTU spokesman Stephanie Gadlin, the results should be out around October 4. 


September 22, 2012 at 1:58 PM

By: Rod Estvan

Parts of the contract released by CPS

CPS has released parts of the actual contract language to WBEZ. It would be wise to post a complete PDF very soon. I would also like to see Substance review the contract and look at what is gained or lost for public education in Chicago.

Rod Estvan

Add your own comment (all fields are necessary)

Substance readers:

You must give your first name and last name under "Name" when you post a comment at We are not operating a blog and do not allow anonymous or pseudonymous comments. Our readers deserve to know who is commenting, just as they deserve to know the source of our news reports and analysis.

Please respect this, and also provide us with an accurate e-mail address.

Thank you,

The Editors of Substance

Your Name

Your Email

What's your comment about?

Your Comment

Please answer this to prove you're not a robot:

4 + 4 =