Teachers Union, Public School Officials Can’t Reach Deal in Late Night Chicago Talks

Yesterday, it began to look as though the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) strike may be coming to an end, but negotiations last night broke down when the two sides couldn’t agree on several key points:

The latest news comes after parties on both sides said they were inching closer to a resolution. In fact, a source said, the two parties had mostly cleared up the thorny issue of teacher evaluations, agreeing to a scheme that decreased emphasis on the rankings based on students’ standardized test scores…

On the salary front, CTU is calling for a 5.8 percent raise, which is higher than CPS’s latest offer of an immediate 2 percent increase. Last year, Emanuel yanked a 4 percent raise that was written into the teachers’ contract, citing the district’s gaping deficit…

CTU also wants additional rights for dismissed teachers. Currently, if Chicago teachers are laid off, they make $35,000 a year and get benefits working as a substitute teacher as they try to find a regular job. CPS wanted to change that to a day-to-day substitute position that pays $140 a day with no benefits. CTU president Jesse Sharkey told the bigger negotiating team that he estimates CPS is trying to save $100 million overall…

Support for the CTU appears to be growing despite blatant as well as latent media smearing of the teachers. Sadly, the negativity is being hurled from all corners of the political spectrum. For our favorite take-down of the “liberal” media’s role in all of this, check out Empty Wheel on Matt Yglesias.

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