City Colleges of Chicago, faculty and staff reach tentative contract agreements

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Harry S Truman College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago in Uptown. | Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

The City Colleges of Chicago and the union representing faculty and professional staff have reached tentative contract agreements, averting a strike.

The four-year agreements reached over the weekend affect about 1,500 workers, City Colleges said.

“We believe these are both fair agreements for City Colleges faculty, professional staff, students and the taxpayers of Chicago and are pleased we could work together to continue to support our students,” City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Juan Salgado and Cook County College Teachers Union President Tony Johnston said in a joint statement.

The agreements must go before the union membership for ratification and then to a vote before the City Colleges Board of Trustees, a City Colleges spokeswoman said

Cook County College Teachers Union Local 1600 last week announced a Feb. 4 strike date as negotiations had stalled since April on its separate contracts with the community college system: one for full-time, non-adjunct professors, and another for professional staff including college advisers, lab coordinators and note-takers.

The union has said CCC leaders were trying to eliminate a health insurance benefit for new hires that allows for 10 years of coverage upon retirement, a stipulation deemed “unworkable,” Johnston said at the time.

Pay raises, including yearly salary steps and education lanes for professors, have also been at issue.

“We are looking to get a readjustment. There is a lot of wage and salary disparity,” Johnston said.

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