Chicago Teachers Union Attempting Mediation
The Chicago Teachers Union is about to enter into mediation with Chicago Public Schools in an effort to negotiate a new contract for teachers throughout the city. The current Chicago Teachers Union contract expired on June 30 and to date, the two sides have had no luck in negotiating a new deal without a third party.
Speaking on behalf of the union, attorney Robert Block said of the upcoming mediation, “It’s one of those things that the parties do when you don’t have a contract done, by law. We could settle through mediation that could get it done.”
Block is right. A number of teachers unions and public employee unions have used mediation to negotiate new contracts. Contracts cover all aspects of a teacher’s job, from days off to work hours to breaks to salary and pension. Any one of these issues could be a point of contention during negotiations and a mediator ensures the process stays on track – that parties involved are not manipulating the situation and that the end goal is always to get a new contract that is beneficial to everyone, as opposed to operating with ulterior motives.
Chicago Public Schools rejected a one year teachers’ proposal last week, announcing it wanted to hammer out a longer labor agreement with the union. That was the point when mediation became the next step. The public school system is looking forward to productive communication and repeatedly has stated it wants a contract that offers protection to the classrooms, the students, the teacher’s, and the taxpayers.