Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson today announced that CPS is formally accepting the recommendations of an independent, third party fact finder for a new contract with the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU). A report formally issued by the fact finder today aligns closely with the initial offer made by CPS earlier this year. To ensure a fair and competitive deal honoring the essential contributions of its teachers, CPS is proposing to increase teacher salaries by 16% over the next five years to reflect the independent fact finder’s recommendations.
“Chicago’s dedicated teachers play an essential role in our school communities and our children’s lives, and they are driving the monumental academic gains made in classrooms across the city,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “With our shared focus on ensuring every student has an equal opportunity to learn and thrive, the city is committed to working alongside teachers to strengthen our schools and hopes to finalize an agreement on a contract that fairly and generously compensates their service before the start of the school year.”
As required by law, an independent fact finder — selected by both CPS and CTU — was charged with assessing the initial offers made by both parties and providing an objective recommendation for a fair contract that is in the best interest of teachers, students and taxpayers. In reaching a recommendation, the fact finder took into consideration thousands of pages of evidence, days of testimony, and closely reviewed CPS’s financial situation. The fact finder’s report aligns closely with the district’s proposal and recommends a five-year contract, along with the following benefits for teachers:
- A 16 percent raise over five years for teachers and staff, for a total increase of $351 million in teacher salary raises; and
- No healthcare contribution increases the first two years of the contract and increases of only 1percent in total in the final three years.
Under the proposal presented by the fact finder and recommended by the district, the average teacher would see their salary rise 24%, including the scheduled salary increases that teachers receive based on years of service. For example, a second-year teacher would see their salary rise from $53K in 2019 to over $72K in the final year of the agreement, which is equivalent to a 35% pay raise.
“As a former CPS teacher, I know how hard our dedicated educators work to ensure the children of Chicago can live up to their vast potential,” said CPSCEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “Our teachers deserve a fair deal that rewards them for their service, and the proposal recommended by our independent fact finder would make that happen. We are raising our offer to match the fact finder’s proposal, so that we can reach a deal that is fair to our teachers and allows our schools to continue their record-setting progress.”
Apart from the fact-finding process, CPS and CTU have held dozens of bargaining sessions over the past several months. The bargaining teams will continue to meet multiple times a week until a contract agreement is reached.
Under Mayor Lightfoot’s leadership, CPS is making new investments to ensure an unprecedented level of equity in how it supports the needs of teachers, students, staff and families in school communities across the city. Earlier this year, Mayor Lightfoot and CPS announced a plan for enhancing career and technical education programming and boosting staffing for schools across the city. The plan will add 200 social worker positions, 250 nurse positions, and additional case managers over the next five years to support the district’s highest-needs schools. Ninety-five of those positions have already been opened as part of the 2020 budget.
In addition, CPS’ equity-focused 2020 budget increases funding for schools across the city while prioritizing $73 million in new classroom spending above last year, over $600 million in facilities upgrades, and the largest-ever investment in pre-k programming, which will add 100 new classrooms. The budget includes $31 million in first-of-its-kind equity grants to support schools experiencing low and declining enrollment, and over the course of the next year CPS will engage the school community to ensure the school funding formula fully addresses the needs of schools and allows teachers and students to continue building on their record academic progress.
For more information, and to read the full fact finder report, visit cps.edu/factfinder.