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Fri Mar 4, 2016, 08:26 PM

Chicago teachers set April 1 for 'showdown' with schools

Source: Reuters

World | Fri Mar 4, 2016 6:43pm EST

Chicago teachers set April 1 for 'showdown' with schools

CHICAGO

The head of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) said on Friday that the district will hold off on a controversial cost-cutting move affecting teachers' pension payments to allow for the labor contract process to play out.

But that move will not stop the Chicago Teachers Union from taking action that could involve a strike on April 1.

Union President Karen Lewis told reporters that everything, including a strike over unfair labor practices, was on the table for what she called an April 1 "showdown" with the nation's third-largest public school system.

The cash-strapped district last month gave the union 30 days' notice that it aims to save $65 million by reducing its contribution to teachers’ pension payments by 7 percent - a move condemned by the union, which in December overwhelmingly authorized a future strike.

While contending a teachers' strike was not legally possible until mid-May, CPS Chief Executive Forrest Claypool told reporters on Friday that the plan to end the so-called pension pickup was on hold until an independent arbiter completes a fact-finding report on April 18. That report is part of a process to reach a new contract with the teachers' union after the prior contract expired last year.

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Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-chicago-education-idUSKCN0W62QL

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