Schoolhouse Beat

Contract agreement reached between custodians and Chicago schools

From The Chicago Tribune: A new contract between Chicago Public Schools and its second-largest union will give 5,500 custodians, special education assistants, school bus aides and security officers a 6 percent raise over three years. The district did not have an estimate of how much the contract with Local 73 of the Service Employees International Union will cost. The school system is facing a budget shortfall of $600 million to $700 million and remains in protracted talks with the Chicago Teachers Union, whose members have voted to authorize a strike if a deal cannot be reached.

EARLIER:

From The Chicago Sun-Times: Chicago Teachers Union officials say nearly 90 percent of their members have authorized a strike against the city's public schools. The vote is the largest such mandate in the union’s history. The 89.73 percent vote to authorize a strike easily surpassed the 75 percent margin required under a new state law — a margin that some backers of that law once considered virtually insurmountable. Although the vote moves teachers a step closer to their first strike since 1987, a spokeswoman says the union has made no determination on whether a strike will be needed.

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