April 15, 2024

The Illinois Policy Institute analyzed the union’s demands for housing assistance, abortion coverage, climate justice and more. It’s a lot.


CONTACT: Micky Horstman (312) 607-4977

Chicagoans on the hook for far-reaching Chicago Teachers Union demands
The Illinois Policy Institute analyzed the union’s demands for housing assistance, abortion coverage, climate justice and more. It’s a lot.

CHICAGO (April 15, 2024) – The current Chicago Teachers Union contract expires June 30, 2024, and a leaked 142-page draft outlines what Chicagoans can expect the union to demand in that upcoming contact.

Analysis from the Illinois Policy Institute shows the union’s demands fall far outside the traditional bargaining scope of a government union contract, which typically focuses on wages and benefits. In addition to significant pay increases, the union has made unprecedented social justice demands in areas including housing, the environment and health care.

Mayor Brandon Johnson, who previously worked for the CTU and received millions of dollars in campaign support from it, will oversee the negotiations. If he complies with all the union’s demands, Chicagoans will be on the hook for the most extreme, politically charged and possibly most expensive teachers contract in the nation.

The union’s most egregious demands include:  

  • Extensive pay hikes: Bargaining unit members will receive at least 9% wage increases each year through fiscal year 2028. The proposed demands from the CTU will increase wages by $51,000 for the average teacher.
  • Taxpayer funding for teacher home purchases and rental assistance for families: Board will institute a program that financially helps new teachers purchase a home. It will also secure at least $30 million from the city and county for multi-year rental assistance; may be expanded to $60 million.
  • Use schools as sheltering places with night-time custodial staff: Board, union, city and organizations shall identify functioning schools with separate entrances to be used as non-congregate temporary sheltering for CPS families experiencing homelessness; shall have a night-time custodial team of two custodians plus social service provider staff.
  • 100% electric bus fleet and fuel-efficient drivers education vehicles: Implementation of 100% electric bus fleet driven by unionized employee drivers, plus fuel-efficient fleet of drivers education vehicles that are in service for fewer than five years.
  • Health insurance coverage for abortion, weight-loss drugs which could include Ozempic: All offered health plans must include 100% coverage benefits for fertility including full coverage for storage of embryos; and 100% coverage benefits in connection with the cost of “abortion care” including up to $1000 for out-of-state travel in the event Illinois law is amended to restrict abortion access.
  • Chicago Transit Authority passes for all students/employees, parking passes, off-street parking and bus pilot program: CTU is demanding the city provides taxpayer-funded CTA fares for all CPS students and employees. It is also demanding off-street parking adjacent to every school, neighborhood parking permits, citywide parking passes for all itinerant teachers and a student bus pilot program with CTA.
  • Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) pension investments: Board shall collaborate with teachers and local pension funds to identify and move away from any investments that are contributing to climate change and other forces harming students and communities; will put money toward investments such as “green social housing.”

“The Chicago Teachers Union spent nearly $2.3 million to get a union employee elected mayor, in large part because they want to legislate via their union contract. These demands read more like a political agenda than a serious contract intent on supporting teachers’ wages and benefits, and promoting the education of Chicago students,” said Mailee Smith, senior director of labor policy at the Illinois Policy Institute. “These demands are far outside the scope of traditional bargaining, putting taxpayer dollars on the line in pursuit of more union power and social activism. We are in the process of calculating the cost of these demands, but we can already tell that funding them will require a sweeping overhaul of finances and new revenues – meaning more and higher taxes for residents. Chicagoans deserve to be represented by a neutral party who is looking out for their finances. Mayor Johnson should recuse himself from contract negotiations.”

You can find the full list of demands HERE.

To read more about the CTU’s contract demands, visit illin.is/CTU2024.

For bookings or interviews, contact media@illinoispolicy.org or (312) 607-4977