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Chicago Public Schools Union on strike for the second day

2012.09.11 Няма коментари
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Contract negotiations ended about 8 p.m. Tuesday, with both sides expected back at the negotiating table at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Chicago Public Schools Board President David Vitale said that at the end of more than 10 hours of negotiations on the second day of the strike, the schools made a comprehensive revised proposal of the contract one rejected Sunday.

As the strike entered its second day, parents voiced their frustration as they dropped their children off at a “Play at the Park” program at Sheridan Park before going to work this morning.

Rachelle Cirrintano, who works at the University of Illinois at Chicago, worried about her 8-year-old son Rocco. The boy has a hard time adjusting to change, she explained. When she dropped him off this morning, he sat on a bench alone because he didn’t know anyone.

Other parents said they sympathized with teachers, for now.

There were also stirrings of impatience among teachers as they marched and chanted in the Loop this morning.

On the Near North Side, more than 60 teachers picketing outside George Manierre Elementary School stopped their chanting and marching for a few minutes around 9:30 a.m. to sing “God Bless America” in honor of 9/11. The group, many holding signs, maracas and tambourines and wearing red, then began singing “This Little Light of Mine” from a booklet with songs meant to inspire the union members.

Teachers from at least four other CPS schools joined the staff at Manierre, where parents can drop their children off during the strike. As teachers sang and marched, children from inside the building peered out windows.

Former CPS teachers and their relatives helped lead and pump up the crowd, which chanted “Teachers rights under attack. What do we do? Stand up, fight back!”

CPS has improved its initial offer to teachers of a 2 %  base wage increase in each of the four years of the contract. The offer submitted to the union Sunday night offers teachers a series of base salary increases over four years, beginning with 3 % in the first year and 2 percent in each of the next three years.

The average teacher in CPS has 13.7 years of experience and is paid about $71,200, according to the Illinois State Board of Education.

The district’s proposal also retains salary bumps for furthering education and for teacher experience, although the “step” increases for experience would be modified. CPS, which released an outline of its offer Sunday night, declined to give further details Monday.

The school board has made other concessions, including addressing a recall policy for teachers who had been laid off because of school closings, consolidations and turnarounds. The union has long sought such a policy, although officials said Sunday the district’s plan does not go far enough. The union has not disclosed details of its contract proposals.

For more info go to Chicago Tribune

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