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CHICAGO - On June 30, 2012 the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU)/Board of Education 2007 – 2012 collective bargaining agreement will expire for the districts more than 25,000 educators.  Without a new contract in place, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) may impose a number of changes to the school calendar, class size, holiday schedule, work schedules and school personnel.   The Board has the ability to remove holidays from our current schedule.

“It is our responsibility to work toward a contract that is fair and equitable to our members and one that will help us give our students the high-quality, first-class education they deserve,” said CTU President Karen GJ Lewis. “While there has been progress in some areas, we remain far apart on many others.” A fact-finder will release recommendations on many of the economic issues on July 16, 2012. Both sides will have 15 days to accept or reject the recommendations. Should both sides accept the fact-finding report will become part of the new contract.

Despite the absence of a new collective bargaining agreement, as of July 1, 2012 CTU members still retain specific rights. These rights include, but are not limited to:

  • Wages – The wages paid to CTU members at the levels currently described in the Appendix A cannot be reduced—regardless of the length of school day.
  • Health Insurance – Members retain the same basic coverage at the same rates described in Appendix B of the contract. 
  • Pension Pick-Up – The board will continue to pay the employer contribution for educators’ pensions.
  • Sick Days – Sick day banks remain intact and will continue to accrue.  The Union is currently negotiation over payouts of unused sick days, and this will be determined when the contract is settled. However, the PEP program expires at the end of the contract and will not continue unless it is included in the final contract settlement.
  • Grievances – Teachers, paraprofessionals and clinicians still have the right to file and process grievances.
  • Summer School – All of the terms in the current contract should continue without any change.
  • Leaves of Absence – All of the terms in the current contract will remain.
  • Vacation – No change, however, the Board has already announced its intent to eliminate Columbus and Pulaski days from the current schedule.
  • Whistleblowing --- CTU’s right to monitor and police CPS activity has remained unchanged.

There have been critical changes in state law regarding evaluation and teacher practice begin this school year. Please reference for detailed information on the Performance Evaluation Reform Act or the new REACH system being imposed by CPS.

CTU has been in contract negotiations with the Board since November 2011.


The Chicago Teachers Union represents 30,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in the Chicago Public Schools and, by extension, the students and families they serve. CTU, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers, is the third largest teachers local in the country and the largest local union in Illinois. For more information visit CTU’s website at


Chicago Teachers Union