The Chicago Teachers Union this evening voted to strike on Monday, Sept. 10, the earliest day possible after filing a 10-day strike notice Wednesday and saying they would remain at the neogotiating table until an agreement was reached.
Sept. 10 is the first day of the second week of school for most Chicago Public Schools students.
Contract negotiations between the union and Chicago Public Schools will continue through the week and likely the weekend, meaning a strike still could be averted.
The biggest issues have yet to be worked out, among them pay raises, working conditions and a rehire pool for teachers who have been laid off because of school closings, consolidations and turnarounds.
The strike would mark the first teacher walkout in 25 years. Officials have set a plan if more than 402,000 students are locked out of the classroom.
CPS has budgeted up to $25 million for a contingency plan. According to district documents obtained by the Tribune, CPS plans to open 145 schools from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, for student activities. The district also plans to partner with other city agencies, faith organizations, nonprofits and other outside groups to provide places for students to go.
In addition to using central office and non-CTU employees to oversee students, the district will invite organizations to submit proposals to help with staffing and programming.
Under the plan:
•Schools opened during a strike will be selected based on location, with preference given to schools with "strong leadership," air conditioning, gymnasiums, cafeterias, computer labs and easy access to public transportation. Children will be invited to participate in activities such as independent reading, writing, the arts, athletics and computer work.
•Separate facilities would be provided for elementary school students, high school students and special education students.
•Students would be provided with breakfast and lunch at all facilities.
•As many as 80 summer camps run by the Chicago Park District could be extended and 79 Chicago Public Library branches could be available to provide online learning opportunities.
All varsity sports and practices would be canceled in the event of a strike.Copyright © 2015, RedEye