CPS Accepts Teachers’ Contract Terms Proposed by Independent Fact Finder
DISTRICT | August 26, 2019
CPS Accepts Teachers’ Contract Terms Proposed by Independent Fact Finder

An independent, third-party arbitrator — who was jointly appointed by CPS and CTU — today released a contract proposal that closely aligns to the terms proposed by CPS and would provide teachers a significant raise over the next five years.

The independent Fact Finder’s proposal was developed following careful analysis of contract proposals presented by both CPS and CTU to develop a proposed agreement that is fair and supports the interests of both parties. CPS believes the Fact Finder proposal is a strong foundation for a complete agreement and accepts the recommendations, which provide the following benefits for teachers:

  • The Fact Finder recommended a five-year contract that includes a $351 million, 16 percent raise in addition to the scheduled salary increases that teachers receive based on their years of service.
    • Earlier this summer, the district proposed increasing combined teacher salaries by $325 million to provide teachers a 14 percent raise over five years. The district has reviewed the proposal brought forward by the Fact Finder and recommends accepting the compromise he proposed.
  • Under the Fact Finder’s proposal, teachers would receive a 16 percent raise over the life of the contract, and the average teacher will see their salary rise 24 percent.  
    • For example, after factoring scheduled salary increases based on years of service, a second-year teacher would see their salary rise from $53K in 2019 to over $72K in the final year of the agreement, which is equivalent to a 35 percent pay raise.

The Fact Finder report (PDF) was prepared by experienced, independent labor expert Steven Bierig.

What is a Fact Finder Report?

As part of the contract negotiation process, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) agreed to bring labor expert Steven Bierig, an independent, third-party arbitrator or Fact Finder, to review contract proposals and present a recommendation for a fair deal. 

After an extensive review of the proposals and discussions with CPS and CTU bargaining team members, Mr. Bierig released a Fact Finder report that outlines a proposal for a fair contract. 

After reviewing the Fact Finder’s proposal, CPS accepts the proposal outlined in the Fact Finder’s report, and has increased its offer to CTU accordingly. 

What’s in the Fact Finder’s Proposal?

The Fact Finder recommended a five-year contract that includes a $351 million, 16 percent raise in addition to the scheduled salary increases that teachers receive based on years of service. The Fact Finder also recommended no increases in health care contributions for teachers in the first two years of the contract, and a cumulative 1% increase in the final three years. 

What would this proposal mean for the average teacher?

The Fact Finder’s proposal would provide a generous raise for teachers. Under the proposal, teachers would receive a 16 percent over the life of the contract in addition to the scheduled salary increases that teachers receive based on years of service. 

The average teacher would see their salary rise over 24 percent and a second-year teacher would see their salary rise from a little more than $53K in 2019 to over $72K in the final year of the agreement, which is equivalent to a 35 percent pay raise.

Does the CPS proposal include additional staffing support for clinicians including nurses and social workers?

CPS is fully committed to providing district students with the resources and supports they need to be successful, and the district has committed to a significant staffing expansion to provide additional clinicians to our highest-needs schools.

Earlier this summer, following meetings with teachers, principals, parents and community members, Mayor Lightfoot and CPS leadership announced a plan that will add 200 social workers, 250 nurses, and additional case managers for our highest-need schools. Ninety-five of these positions have been opened as part of our FY20 budget, and we will continue to invest in the coming years as we work to develop a candidate pool for these important roles.

While the Fact Finder concluded that staffing levels for these roles do not fall under the legal bargaining process, CPS has made a public commitment to hire these additional staff members, and positions have already been opened as part of the district’s FY20 budget.

The following chart shows how Social Worker position levels have grown in recent years to its current record high and how they will continue to increase under the plan outlined by Mayor Lightfoot and CPS leadership:

Under CPS’s announced hiring commitment, there will be enough nurses on staff by 2024 to put one in every school.

What other investments is CPS making in schools this year?

To continue the record-setting academic progress Chicago schools have made in recent years, CPS proposed an FY20  budget focused on equity that includes critical capital investments for more than 300 schools across the city as well as a significant expansion of school programming. The proposed FY20 budget includes an additional $73 million in classroom spending over last school year and is designed to accelerate learning opportunities in every school across the city by prioritizing equitable access to high-quality facilities and programmatic investments in high-need communities. Key budget investments include:

  • Critical building improvements for more than 300 schools across the city, with 93 percent of the $619 million in guaranteed capital funding going to schools that serve majority low-income students;
  • Largest-ever capital investment in pre-k classrooms ($120 million);
  • Largest-ever expansion of high-quality academic programs, including STEM, IB and Fine and Performing Arts;
  • $10.5 million for ADA accessibility;
  • $10 million for nurse, social worker, and case manager positions, and funds for recruitment and pipeline development; and
  • $12 million to support English Learners at more than 100 schools.

What are the district’s priorities in these negotiations?

CPS’ top priority in these negotiations is to reach an agreement that rewards Chicago’s dedicated educators for their service, allows CPS to continue its record-setting academic progress, and protects the best interests of Chicago families and taxpayers. We are committed to working in good faith to reach a fair agreement as soon as possible so our teachers, school leaders, students, and families can put their full focus on a successful school year.

What happens next? Will there be a strike?

CPS is fully committed to reaching a fair contract as soon as possible. We believe the Fact Finder report provides a strong framework for a fair deal, and we will do everything in our power to reach a fair deal and avoid any disruption to the school year.


Update 9/23/19: Factfinder Report Agreed with District’s Proposal to Raise Local 73 Salaries by 16 Percent.

SEIU Local 73 members are essential to the success of our schools, and CPS is committed to reaching a contract that rewards them for their service and supports the record breaking success our schools have made. An independent fact finder, selected jointly by CPS and Local 73, has agreed with the district’s proposal to increase Local 73 salaries by a generous 16 percent over the next five years, and we believe this independent recommendation should be the framework for a fair deal. We are in active discussions with Local 73 to reach a strong contract, and there is no reason we cannot quickly come to an agreement that fairly rewards our staff members and supports the progress our schools have made.”