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CTU says contract vote postponed so members can read full deal

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis speaks at a news conference on Sept. 28, 2016. On Tuesday, Oct. 25, the CTU said Chicagoans won’t know whether public school teachers will accept a deal with Chicago Public Schools until next week, after the union decided to postpone a ratification vote. | Santiago Covarrubias/Sun-Times

Chicagoans won’t know whether their public school teachers will accept a deal with Chicago Public Schools until next week, after the union decided to postpone a ratification vote.

The 25,000 or so active members now will vote on Monday and Tuesday instead of on Thursday and Friday, union spokeswoman Stephanie Gadlin said Tuesday.

The union said it will deliver ballots and printed copies of the full agreement to schools by the end of the week and wanted to give members a chance to read through them before deciding what to do. Meanwhile this week, the CTU has been holding informational meetings for members only at high schools across the city.

A simple majority of teachers, clinicians and aides must vote yes for the tentative agreement, which barely averted another teachers strike, to become the contract. If it passes, CTU members will receive raises in the last two years but pay more toward their health care. For the first time in the country, the union contract also contains a cap on the number of charter schools CPS has agreed to open.

CPS has yet to discuss the cost of the deal, but it’s estimated at $8.9 billion over its life, the Chicago Sun-Times has reported. The extra costs require Chicago’s school board to reauthorize its operating budget too.