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Chicago teachers set date for strike authorization vote

The CTU and Chicago Public Schools have failed to reach terms on a new contract.

CTU held a one-day strike in 2016.
Sun-Times files

The Chicago Teachers Union has set a date when members will take a strike vote, moving the city’s teachers another step closer to a potential work stoppage.

The unanimous vote taken at the CTU’s house of delegates meeting Wednesday evening sets the table for a Sept. 26 vote which will decide whether members authorize the union to strike.

The earliest the union would go on strike is Oct. 7.

If the CTU were to strike, it would be its first at district-run schools since 2012 under former Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s watch. The teachers did stage a one-day strike in 2016 to protest budget cuts.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has been looking to avoid that same start to her tenure that caused a rift between Emanuel and the city’s teachers for nearly his entire time in office.

Lightfoot’s latest $351 million proposal includes a 16% pay raise over her preferred five years, up from the city’s original proposal of a 14% wage increase.

The CTU, however, has still been threatening a strike if its demands on wraparound services aren’t met. The union has asked for full-time nurses and librarians in every school, more social workers and smaller class sizes.

The two sides are expected back at the bargaining table Thursday.