New CTU contract will cost taxpayers an extra $80 a year in higher property taxes

November 1, 2019

Making up five strike days totals $91M

CHICAGO (Nov. 1, 2019) – Chicago students head back to the classroom today after an 11-day Chicago Teachers Union strike. Original analysis by the Illinois Policy Institute finds the typical Chicago homeowner could see their property tax bills rise by at least $80 to cover the cost of the new contract.

The new CTU contract comes out to $113.84 million in the first year and totals $626.84 million over the course of five years. Overall, it costs $42.1 million more than Mayor Lightfoot’s original offer.

As part of the agreement, CPS also consented to making up five of the 11 strike days. At a cost of $18 million per day, the make-up days will cost Chicago taxpayers another $91 million in salary and benefits on top of the contract cost.

New first-year costs in the contract include:

  • $61.7 million for teachers’ raises
  • $35 million for investing in measures that decrease class sizes
  • $9.6 million for hiring new support staff
  • $5 million for senior-level teachers’ raises
  • $2 million for reducing counselors’ workloads
  • $400,000 for nurse training and certification
  • $100,000 for support staff recruitment

Additional CTU contract benefits include:

  • Increasing the career cap on teacher sick days from 40 days to 244 days. This is a benefit teachers can use towards their pensions or early retirements.
  • Giving CTU lists of workers’ personal information every month.
  • Instituting a Joint Council of CPS and CTU workers to investigate and determine remedies for oversized classrooms.
  • Implementing minor increases for health insurance premiums despite large district costs.
  • Imposing a moratorium on charter schools.

Statement from Adam Schuster, director of budget and tax research:

“The end result of this strike is a contract that comes at a significant cost to taxpayers. Not only did families bear the price of having children unexpectedly home for 11 days, they will now be left shelling out for unknown pension expenses through the new sick-leave policy that is dangerous to the district’s long-term fiscal outlook.

“Mayor Lightfoot deserves credit for trying to hold the line during tough negotiations, especially after offering such a generous initial contract. The worst thing that could happen would be for Chicagoans to see the union repeat this tactic, as it did three times in seven years.”

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