Chicago Public Schools teachers strike suspended, classes resume Wednesday

The Chicago Teachers Union voted Tuesday afternoon to end its strike, according to multiple media outlets, meaning all Chicago Public Schools will be open Wednesday for the first time in 12 days.

The union’s house of delegates agreed to end the first teachers strike in 25 years after several hours debating at a closed meeting held near Chinatown. Details of the meeting were not immediately made public by the union, but according to Crain’s Chicago Business’ Greg Hinz, the delegates also tentatively decided to recommend the contract for approval.

Rank-and-file teachers still must vote on the contract, but classes will be in session while they do that over the course of the next few weeks.

The new contract gives teachers a 3 percent cost-of-living raise in the contract’s first year, followed by 2 percent raises in the second and third years. An optional fourth year for the contract would offer a 3 percent raise again, if both the union and CPS agree to extend the deal.

On one of the most contentious issues – how teachers would be laid off and rehired if schools closed – the two sides said they came to a compromise.

According to fact sheets distributed by CPS and the union over the past few days, principals maintain the right to hire the teachers they want. At schools slated to be closed or consolidated, highly-rated teachers have the opportunity to follow their students to new schools, with spots being given out in order of best performance. Half of all teachers hired must be laid-off CTU members.

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