Chicago Teachers Union sets date for strike authorization vote

CHICAGO (WLS) -- As the school year gets underway for CPS students, the Chicago Teachers Union just got one step closer to a possible strike.

CTU delegates unanimously voted to set a strike authorization vote for September 26.

The earliest a strike could happen is October 7.

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"Our members can't be bought - they are clear that their schools need the same things that students across Howard Street, Austin Boulevard and Cicero Avenue have," said CTU President Jesse Sharkey. "Every one of our delegates voted today to send a clear signal to CPS and the Mayor that what's been offered to date isn't good enough."

The decision comes after teachers rejected the city's offer last week of a five-year deal that would give them a 16 percent pay hike.

"We do not know what is going to take place, but I'm keeping my teachers focused on students first," said Richard J. Daley Academy Principal Kamilah Hampton.

Mayor Lightfoot held the first of four public town hall sessions on the city budget Wednesday evening.

Ahead of the town hall, the mayor expressed hope the city and the CTU could come to an agreement.

"I really do think that we have all the tools that we need and an offer on the table to be able to get the deal done," Lightfoot said. "Despite the rhetoric in the public, at the bargaining table we are definitely making progress and we will continue to do everything we can."

Teachers have been without a contract for 66 days.
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