Tentative Agreement Reached to End Chicago’s School Strike
Negotiators reached a tentative agreement Wednesday to end the two-day teachers’ strike here that had disrupted the opening of school for 431,000 students.
“The Chicago school strike is over,” Gov. James R. Thompson told a news conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, where negotiators for the governor, the Chicago Teachers Union and the Board of Education ended a bargaining session that began Tuesday.
“We have a settlement I think is good for the schools of Chicago and good for the state of Illinois,” Thompson said. “Everybody should be back in school tomorrow, and that’s good news.”
Teachers Must OK Pact
The two-year pact still must be approved by the 28,000 union members, who walked picket lines for the third consecutive year.
The agreement would provide raises of 6% in the first year of the contract and 3% in the second year. The average teacher’s salary in Chicago is $30,000, Board President George Munoz said.
The 3% salary increase for next year is contingent on the Legislature’s coming up with an extra $50 million to pay for it, Thompson said. If the money does not come through, the board would be able to get out of the contract on an “escape clause” that was included in the agreement.
No New Talks in Seattle
Meanwhile, no new talks were scheduled in Seattle, where the city’s 44,000 public school students were to have gone back to class Wednesday. The 3,700 teachers, aides and substitutes struck Tuesday over state-imposed salary limits, class size and other issues.
Elsewhere, walkouts began Wednesday in Pawtucket and Newport in Rhode Island, keeping 12,100 students out of school. Strikes continued in four Michigan districts, affecting 51,400 students and 3,100 teachers; in six Pennsylvania districts, idling 19,800 students, and in one other Illinois system, affecting 9,900 students.