After a year of negotiating for a new contract, teachers and faculty across the City Colleges of Chicago are planning to go on strike next week if a new agreement cannot be finalized.
The Cook County College Teachers Union on Tuesday announced that its members will walk out on Nov. 2 unless a deal can be reached with CCC administration.
“All Chicago students deserve access to a quality community college system. Cook County College Teachers Union faculty and professionals are fighting for classroom investment to ensure that Chicago’s working-class students have real opportunities to succeed,” Tony Johnston, president of Cook County College Teachers Union, said in a statement.
The union — which represents 1,500 faculty and professionals within the City Colleges — said its contract expired in July, but negotiations on a new deal began last October, with teachers pushing for smaller class sizes, greater access to remote learning and student support, increased wraparound services and fair salary increases.
Earlier this month, 92% of CCC faculty and professionals voted to authorize a strike. At that time, the union said it and the colleges were “far from reaching an agreement.”
“City Colleges is committed to negotiating in good faith with each of our professionals and faculty unions to finalize their respective contracts,” CCC spokesperson Veronica Resa said in an emailed statement Tuesday.
The union has planned a strike rally Thursday at the Chicago Teachers Union’s headquarters.
According to union chief of staff Kaitlyn Skoirchet, the sides plan to continue negotiations Wednesday afternoon, with additional sessions scheduled Friday and next Tuesday.
“It's possible we may also negotiate this weekend,” Skoirchet said in an email. “Our team has said that we will meet as often as possible to reach a deal before our Nov. 2nd strike date.”