Substance reports that the Chicago teachers approved their contract in school voting Tuesday and Monday. The contract doesn't look like much with only a 4.5% salary increase over 4 years but they avoided a strike at the last minute by agreeing to a deal. Chicago Public Schools claim not to be in good shape financially.
Here is how Substance editor George Schmidt described the vote and some of the sentiments of the teachers out in Chicago.
According to a press release sent out late on November 1, 2016 by the CTU Communications department, "At the time of this writing, vote totals showed 72.33% yes and 27.67 no, with less than 60 schools waiting to be counted. The final results will be tabulated and shared at the CTU House of Delegates meeting on Wednesday, November 2nd. No other details are available at this time." the 72 percent pass rate means that this contract, which was hotly debated in the schools, was approved by the lowest percentage of union members in roughly half a century. Traditionally, the union's members are unwilling to vote down a deal once the union's leaders have recommended it for obvious reasons. If the officers believe that the deal is the "best" they can achieve, the members do not believe that the officers can lead a strike to get a better deal.
I never looked at a yes vote as a vote of no confidence but heard many people in New York City say that they only voted for our inadequate contract because they thought President Michael Mulgrew would do worse if we sent him back to the bargaining table.
We wish our friends in Chicago well as they move ahead.
Update: We congratulate the Chicago Cubs for winning the World Series with an 8-7 over the Cleveland Indians. The Cubs have won the World Series for the first time since 1908. They are probably not thinking of the contract much this morning out in Chicago. I'll be a zombie today as I stayed up late last night to watch the game while helping someone prepare a union grievance.