After a 10-day strike and months of negotiations with the city, the Chicago Teachers Union brought a tentative contract agreement to its 700-member House of Delegates for consideration tonight. After a heated debate, the delegates voted 364 to 242 to accept the deal, as long as the city allows members to make up their missed work days.
You can see the tentative agreement, obtained by Chalkbeat, in full here.
The 41-page document was uploaded to a portal available only to union members late Wednesday afternoon. Each page is watermarked “For CTU members only.”
The document contains only elements of the contract that would change under the deal. It includes dozens of changes in addition to the ones that have been the public focus during the strike. On those issues, it provides more details than have been publicly available, such as exactly how many nurses and social workers the district has committed to hiring each year, toward a goal of staffing each school fully by 2023.
A few highlights:
- The tentative agreement is for a five-year contract. That’s longer than average and what Mayor Lori Lightfoot had wanted.
- The language gives two additional hours of prep time per quarter to kindergarten teachers who are required to give specific tests. It does not include any changes to prep time for elementary school educators, which had been a central union demand.
- As expected, the deal allocates $35 million a year to a committee that could dole out the funds to remediate oversize classes. The class size caps in the deal would remain the same as they have been.
- Also as expected, the deal also guarantees extensive hiring of new support staff. The deal spells out that the district will add 43 or 44 social workers a year for the next four school years, until there is one full-time social worker in every school. The district will move more aggressively to hire school nurses, adding 55 new ones each year during the contract.
- The agreement includes new provisions about substitute teachers, including extra pay to incentivize substitutes to take placements at-high need schools and duty-free lunch periods and professional training for substitutes.
- The deal also includes several new provisions aimed at making it easier for special education teachers to serve students with disabilities, including a guarantee that they can access those students’ records and that they would cover other classes only as a last resort.
- The deal provides for nap time for children in pre-kindergarten classes.
- The agreement allows for unpaid leaves for union members who are elected to public office. Previously, the language had applied only to members who became union officials.
- The deal increases the number of sick days that employees can bank sixfold, from 40 to 244. Those days would not be paid out when a teacher leaves the system permanently but could be used to extend leaves.