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What's In The Tentative Agreement For Chicago Teachers

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union both have provided their own separate summaries of the tentative contract agreement being weighed by union delegates.


According to a news release from CTU, the proposal will:

• Secure Raises & Ensure Fair Compensation: The CTU wants a three-year contract. It will secure a 3% raise in the first year, 2% raise in the second and 2% raise in the third, with the option to extend to a 4th year by mutual agreement at another 3% raise.

• Defeat Merit Pay: The CTU successfully fought the star of national misguided school reform policies. The Board agreed to move away from "Differentiated Compensation," which would have allowed them to pay one set of teachers (based on unknown criteria) one set of pay versus another set of pay for others.

• Preserve Steps & Lanes: The new contract will preserve the full value of teachers and paraprofessionals career ladder (steps); and, it will increased the value of the highest steps (14,15 and 16)

• Provide A Better School Day: The Board will hire 512 additional 'special' teachers in art, music, physical education, world languages and other classes to ensure students receive a better school day, a demand thousands of parents have called for since last year

• Ensures Job Security: Creates a "CPS Hiring Pool," which demands that one-half of all of CPS hires must be displaced (laid-off) members.

• Adds An Anti-Bullying Provision: No more bullying by principals and managerial personnel. The new language will curtail some of the abusive practices that have run rampant in many neighborhood schools.

• Paraprofessional & Clinicians Prep Time: The new contract will guarantee preps for clinicians.

• Racial Diversity: The CTU continues to fight the District on its lay-off policies that has led to a record number of African American educators being laid off and eventually terminated by the District. The new contract will ensure that CPS recruits a racially diverse teaching force.

• New Recall Rights & Tackling School Closings: Acknowledging, the CTU will continue its ongoing legal and legislative fight for a moratorium on all school closings, turnarounds and phase-outs, the new contract requires teachers to "follow their students" in all school actions. This will reduce instability among students and educators. The contract will also have 10 months of "true recall" to the same school if a position opens.

• Fairer Evaluation Procedures: The new contract will limit CPS to 70% "teacher practice," 30% "student growth" (or test scores)—which is the minimum by state law. It also secures in the first year of implementation of the new evaluation procedures there will be "no harmful consequences" for tenured teachers. It also secures a new right—the right to appeal a Neutral rating.

• Reimbursement for School Supplies: The contract will require the District to reimburse educators for the purchase of school supplies up to $250.

• Additional Wrap-Around Services: The Board agrees to commit to hire nurses, social workers and school counselors if it gets new revenue. Over the past several months, the CTU has identified several sources of new revenue, including the Tax Increment Financing program.

• Books on Day One: For the first time, the new contract will guarantee all CPS students and educators have textbooks on day one and will not have to wait up to six weeks for learning materials.

• Unified School Calendar: The new contract will improve language on a unified calendar. The District will have one calendar for the entire school district and get rid of Track E and Track R schools. All students and teaching personnel will begin on the same schedule.

• Reduced Paperwork: The new contract ensures the new paperwork requirements are balanced against reduction of previous requirements.

According to a CPS handout, the tentative deal calls for:

• Length of Day: Elementary students gain 1 ¼ hours to create a 7 hour school day. High school students gain ½ hour to create a 7 ½ hour school day.

• Length of Year: Students gain 10 full instructional days.

• Academic Calendar: A unified calendar is created so all public school children attend school on the same days. A joint Board-Union Committee created to work on specifics.

• Teacher Evaluation: Student growth is part of evaluation for first time, accounting for 25% of evaluation in years 1 and 2; 30% in year 3; 35% year 4; and potentially 40% in year 5 if Joint Committee approves. A student survey will be piloted in Year 2, with implementation in Year 3 at 10% of total, subject to Joint Committee. Tenured teachers will continue to be evaluated on biennial cycle if receiving a Proficient or Excellent rating. Unsatisfactory and Developing teachers will face layoff in Year 1. Remediation and dismissal may occur immediately post-rating (which tenured teachers receive in Year 2 of implementation).

• Contract Duration: 3 years with the option of 4th year based on trigger.

• Recall and Layoff: Principals maintain full authority to hire whichever teacher they deem best. When schools are consolidated, closed or phased-out, highly-rated teachers will have the opportunity to follow their students to the consolidated school. Order of layoff is by performance: Unsatisfactory teachers first, then by class (probationary/tenured), then by Developing (formerly Needs Improvement – in two groups, those rated lower in this category then those rated higher), and then Proficient/Excellent.

• Quality Teacher Initiative: For the first time, CPS will have hiring standards for teachers that have earned credentials beyond a certification to teach. Initiative will create hiring standards to ensure all candidates meet minimum hiring requirements to raise the bar on the quality of our teachers and to ensure that all teachers across the city meet these minimum expectations. The Initiative also creates guaranteed interviews for tenured highly-rated teachers who are laid off because of closings, consolidations, phase-outs, enrollment drops and academic reasons. CPS will aim to fill 50% of vacancies with Proficient and Excellent displaced tenured teachers. Principals will not be restrained by this goal and will continue to have the ability to hire the highest quality candidates of their choosing.

• Cost of Living Increase: First year 3%, followed by 2% in Year 2 and 2% in Year 3. If accepting a 4th year, will receive 3%.

• Steps: Reformed to incent retention of more senior teachers and to result in short term and long-term savings over current system.

• Lanes: Unchanged from past contract.

• Career Ladders, Lanes and Differentiated Compensation: Joint Board-Union pay committee to be formed to study lane movement, differentiated compensation and career ladders. Teacher credentials or roles to be considered may include: Teacher Leader, Professional Development Teacher, Mentor Teacher, Peer Observer, Department Chair, and more. Credentials will further highlight exceptional teachers, help teachers develop professionally, and will assist principals in identifying top talent for their schools.

• Health: Contribution rates remain frozen, with LMCC authority revised to permit changes to defray increases in healthcare costs. Introduces a comprehensive wellness program at no cost to employee but with opt-out premium differential.

• Sick Leave: Eliminate sick leave payout going forward without penalizing existing banks. Permit banking of up to 40 days for use as sick days, FMLA leaves, and pension service credit, but not for payout purposes. Adds short-term disability policy that provides for paid maternity leave, other illness leaves, and may add paternity leave policy of 2 to 3 weeks.

• Personal Days: Unused personal days are no longer compensated.

• Class Size: Maintains current class size policy.

• School Choice: CPS maintains complete freedom to offer quality school options, including STEM schools, International Baccalaureate (IB) programs, charter schools and selective enrollment.

• Enhanced Pension Program: Program eliminated.

• Contract Cost: $295 million over four years, or $74 million per year. Includes reduced cost from COLA reduction, step and lane compensation, and savings in layoff benefits, sick day compensation, and a new wellness program.

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