(Reuters) - Chicago Teachers Union delegates meet on Tuesday to vote on whether to call off a strike, now in its second week, and allow schools to reopen on Wednesday.
Here are highlights of the new contract, according to a statements by the union, the school district and Mayor Rahm Emanuel:
* Teachers get a 3 percent raise this year, 2 percent in the second and third years, and could extend the contract to a fourth year by mutual agreement with a 3 percent raise. The new contract also preserves some automatic pay raises, or “step” increases, based on experience. Debt rating agencies have said these raises are greater than what the Chicago Public Schools had budgeted for and almost certainly will bust the budget.
* A minimum three-year agreement, which puts “our next contract campaign in the midst of the next mayoral election campaign,” the union said.
* The union fought off Emanuel’s demand for some element of pay being based on merit.
* On the key issue of teacher performance evaluations, Emanuel got a new system based in part on “student growth” including standardized test scores. But he had to back off on how much student test results will be weighted. The new contract will require that 70 percent of the evaluation be based on “teacher practice” and 30 percent on student performance including test scores. The new appraisals will not be used against tenured teachers in the first year of the system.
* The contract confirms Emanuel’s earlier victory in extending the length of the school day in Chicago by an average of about 90 minutes. But union teachers will not have to work longer hours. Instead, Emanuel will hire more than 600 additional teachers in art, music, physical education, world languages and other classes to cover the longer days.
* Emanuel compromised on a union demand for job security by promising that half of all teachers hired by the district must be union members previously laid off by the closing of schools. But Emanuel said he also won new flexibility for school principals to hire whoever they want for open teaching positions. The union said it won an “anti-bullying clause that prohibits abusive and demeaning conduct by principals.”
* The union said it won a pledge from the district that it hire a racially diverse teaching force after a record number of African-American educators were laid off because of the school closings in recent years.
Compiled by Greg McCune and Peter Bohan.; Editing by Eric Beech; SOURCE: Chicago Teachers Union, CPS