Success! Here’s What the Chicago Teachers Get

The Chicago Teacherís Union suspended its week-long strike on September 18th, allowing 350,000 students to return to their classrooms. Issues of job security and teacher evaluation were at the forefront of the strike — with Chicago teachers demanding increased pay and a new contract regarding academic standards.

Over 12,000 Care2 members signed the petition to stand with the Chicago Teachers Union. Thank you for supporting Chicagoís teachers and their demands for fair pay and evaluations!

The 29,000-member Chicago Teacherís Union compromised with Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, constructing a three year contract to improve the working conditions at Chicagoís schools. The union acknowledges that many problems remain unsolved, but the solidarity of the teacherís union paired with stepping stone changes satisfied Chicago teachersí appetite for progress.

The new contract includes the following:

-A 3% pay increase the first year, with a 2% increase every year thereafter
-Phasing out performance-related pay, or ďmerit payĒ
-Hiring 600 teachers in the areas of art, music, world languages, etc.
-Up to $250 reimbursement of school supplies
-Only 30% of student test scores will be factored into teacher evaluations
-Laid-off teachers receive hiring-priority for charter school position openings

The contract is awaiting ratification from the 29,000 union members, but school is still back in session! Contract negotiations have been going on since November 2011, making this contract a result of the 1-year struggle of the Chicago Teacherís Union to update their terms and conditions.

Thanks to our Care2 members for standing with the Chicago Teacherís Union during their tumultuous battle for fair working conditions!


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Lisa D'arcangelis
Lisa Plunkett5 years ago

Fantastic news! thank you!

Alina G.

Thank you!Great news!

Silja M.
Silja M5 years ago

Great news! Sure shows how important unions are. I know how it feels when you have a weak union... but they are as strong as the members - strike votes are votes by members. If you want action by your union, rally for it. If you don't have a union, start one!

Merit pay for no teachers make no sense whatsoever. How do you evaluate a teacher? Ask the kids? OK, I give great marks and candy so I get good evaluations. Student grades? See previous... plus, not all student groups are the same. Recently hired teachers usually end up with the groups no one else wants (i.e. those who are known to be problematic for one reason or another, and known to get poos marks). Peer evaluation? I am your buddy and you are mine - let's evaluate each other! Really objective. Principal evaluates you? Well I don't always see eye to eye with him, but sure he can be trusted to evaluate me fairly!

Diane, just because someone who would deserve a better pay (like a skilled welder - I always thought this is one of the best paying jobs!) doesn't get what they should, doesn't mean that those who do get it, shouldn't. And what's with this 'in the olden days teachers used to mark papers on their own time'? In the olden days there was also slavery, women were not allowed to vote, there were no legislation to regulate work conditions. Ever heard of progress? In the olden days teachers were often also either nuns or other unmarried women. Should we ask now too that if you are going to choose to be a teache

Winn Adams
Winn A5 years ago


Diane L.
Diane L5 years ago

Kimberly, unless one came here from another planet, or even another country, we've all gone thru the school system. What would it matter if it was yesterday, last year or a decade ago? It hasn't gotten tougher on teachers in schools since I was a student, much, MUCH easier. Used to be, teachers didn't earn a "median" salary, except possibly at the college/university PROFESSOR level, but they did earn enough to be well within the "average" for those who didn't have skills to be doctors or lawyers, scientists, professional athletes, etc. USED to be, teachers did grade papers after school........yes, on their own time. That was expected. USED to be, teachers taught because they wanted to TEACH children. USED to be, teaching was a "noble profession". Now, it's mainly about the money. Get OVERTIME to grade papers, attend PTA, and as for raises, tell ya' what, I retired in May of 2004 and what I get now is exactly the same as it was on June 1, 2004. It will NEVER go up. S.S. has gone up an entire $100/month since I retired (or so), except Medicare takes a bigger share now than "then". Yeah, tell me how much I should care about anyone whining because $71,000/year isn't enough.

Rin S.
Rin S5 years ago

Great news, thanks!

Kimberly J.
Kimberly J5 years ago

My comment got cut off.

I challenge those of you who have posted negative comments about the Chicago teachers to spend some time volunteering in your local schools. Maybe, just maybe after seeing what teachers go through on a daily basis, you'll change your attitude toward teachers.

Another thing all of you nay sayers need to consider is that the federal and state governments keep cutting the education budget. That means teachers are expected to do more with less. Some classrooms don't have enough textbooks which means that students have to share books & nobody can take one home. Sometimes there aren't enough workbooks for all of the students, so teachers have to make copies for their students who don't have one. Also, very few Secretaries of Education & school board members are educators, so they have no clue what happens in the classrooms on a daily basis.

I wish that teachers here in Florida had the right to strike. Maybe then the Legislature & school boards would take them seriously. Teachers where I live haven't had a pay raise in about 5 years, but the cost of their health insurance keeps going up.

Kimberly J.
Kimberly J5 years ago

It's obvious that the people posting negative comments have never spent a day in a public school classroom. Do you have any clue what teachers go through on a daily basis? They have to teach every lesson so that the lowest students in the class understand it and the advanced students don't get bored. Merit pay means that a teacher's salary is based on the results of standardized tests. Do the research people. Standardized tests are not an accurate measure of how much a student has learned. As an educator, I know that there are students out there who don't care if they pass the test or not.

Learning Disabled students have to take the test for the grade level they're supposed to be on, not where they're actually at. Even if an English Language Learning student has only been in the country for a month, they still have to take the test. If there is nobody available to translate it from English to their native language, oh well, too bad, so sad.

In some schools, teachers get very little support from administration. Sometimes, the only meal students get is at school. Hungry students have a hard time learning anything. Some students don't get much sleep because they have to work after school to help support their family. Then they have to go home & watch younger siblings before they can do their own school work & get some sleep. It's very difficult to teach students who are hungry and/or exhausted.

I challenge those of you who have posted negative comments about

James K.
James Kauzlarich5 years ago

I'm not so sure I agree with phasing out Merit Pay, but otherwise good going!

Karen Martinez
Karen Martinez5 years ago

What I thought was interesting was when the parents were interviewed, they complained about having to find babysitters for their kids since the teachers were on strike. When you're trying to teach the offspring of that, no amount of money is apt compensation.