Schools, Union Far Apart on Salary Negotiations

Monday, April 2, 2012

The first round of negotiations between the Chicago Public Schools and the teachers union went squarely to the district, which will get its way in weighing student performance more heavily in teacher evaluations.

Now, the two sides are fully focused on negotiations over an even more contentious issue, teacher salaries. The district and union remain far apart on a number of issues, including CPS' proposal for a salary system that will eventually reward teachers for working in poor schools or taking hard-to-fill positions.

CPS also wants to phase in a system that pays teachers based on student performance — essentially a merit-based system that long has been staunchly resisted by the union.

In its initial proposal, the Chicago Teachers Union asked for a 30 percent raise over two years. CPS has come back with an offer for a 2 percent raise next year, when teachers districtwide will be overseeing a longer school day.

The district's proposal would do away with automatic annual raises and increases based on experience and college credits, according to a bulletin on the Chicago Teachers Union website.

"I would characterize negotiations as positive, but there are some very big issues that we are far apart on," said CTU vice president Jesse Sharkey.

Read more »