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ASPIRA Teachers Agree To Tentative Deal To Avoid Charter School Strike

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Teachers from the ASPIRA school network have reached a tentative contract agreement with management, averting what would have been the first charter school strike in the U.S.

About 100 teachers and staff at the four ASPIRA charter schools in Chicago had previously set a March 17 strike date, but late Thursday night the two sides agreed on a tentative two-year deal.

"I am a teacher first, and I definitely don't want to take anything away from my classroom, and I definitely didn't want to affect our students' education," teachers' union president Marines Martinez said.

Martinez said the contract would provide pay raises for teachers in both years of the agreement, and ASPIRA would continue to pick up the bulk of the teachers' pension contributions.

In another win, ASPIRA also has announced a new program, according to Martinez.

"The idea, based on the email, is to ensure that cleaning and repairs are taken care of," she said.

Teachers and staff will vote whether to ratify the contract in the coming days.

If they had gone on strike, it would have been the first-ever charter school teachers' strike in the U.S.

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