Chicago Teachers Union sets dates for members to ratify new contract

The union’s 25,000 members now must vote to accept the deal — or resume the strike.

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The Chicago Teachers Union rally shut down westbound Roosevelt Road, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Chicago. (Kevin Tanaka/Chicago Sun-Times via AP) ORG XMIT: ILCHS332

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Chicago teachers will vote next week to ratify the tentative contract agreement struck last week with Chicago Public Schools that suspended the union’s longest strike in more than three decades.

Eric Ruder, a Chicago Teachers Union spokesman, confirmed the union’s 25,000 members can vote Nov. 14 and 15 at their schools or the CTU’s West Town headquarters. According to the CTU’s constitution, teachers must “vote in a secret ballot referendum” within 10 school days of a strike being postponed. 

While the CTU’s House of Delegates approved the tentative deal Wednesday in a tight 362-242 vote, members continued to strike Thursday as union leaders negotiated a deal with Mayor Lori Lightfoot to make up five of the canceled school days. Children ultimately returned to class Friday after missing 11 days.

If a majority of CTU members who cast ballots accept the tentative contract — which is expected to cost $1.5 billion over five years — the strike will officially end. Then it’s up to the Chicago Board of Education to adopt the contract before it’s finalized. 

Should union members reject the deal, delegates are required to meet within five days to set a date to resume the strike. 

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