Chicago Teachers, Mayor Work on Labor Details

After a weeklong strike, educators may be on track to return to school by Monday.

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It has been a full week since teachers in Chicago's school district began their walkout, but that may end this weekend. Chicago Teachers' Union President Karen Lewis has said that the terms she's been reviewing with the school board and city Mayor Rahm Emanuel are compromises she thinks can be "a framework that will get us to an agreement," reports the Chicago Tribune.

The outline of a new teachers contract was in place Friday and if the remaining pieces can be completed in talks that began this morning, union delegates could vote this weekend to cancel the strike. A teachers union rally is also scheduled for noon today at Union Park at Ashland Avenue and Lake Street on the Near West Side.

Both sides said after a half-day negotiating session Friday that a "framework" for agreement had been reached, but they also cautioned that more needed to be done. With details of the contact still to be finalized, the leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union met with its House of Delegates on Friday to assure them that significant progress had been made at the bargaining table ...

Officials with the union, the district and the city were saying little about where things stood after Friday's session. But according to an administration source, the elements of the agreement so far include:

* Teacher evaluations in which student performance makes up 25 percent of a teacher's performance rating in the system's first year and a higher percentage in future years.

* Annual wage increases that are believed to be close to the district's earlier offer of a 3 percent base salary hike in the first year of the contract and 2 percent raises in subsequent years. In their previous contract, teachers were given 4 percent annual base salary bumps.

* Raises for years taught, known as step pay increases, would be limited to midcareer educators from their fifth through 10th years with the district.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

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