The Chicago Teachers Union sent out a news release this morning stating that membership has authorized a strike, after voting last week on the matter.
"The vote has well surpassed the 75 percent threshold required by state law, with some school networks voting 100 percent to authorize a strike," read the release. "While the Union has made not determination on whether a strike will be needed, leaders say the authorization vote has now given them added leverage at the bargaining table."
The vote comes as a "fact finder" approved by both CTU and the Chicago Board of Education reviews each side's proposal. The CTU-CPS contract expires at the end of June; the fact finder has a July 15 deadline to give a compromise proposal to each side.
CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard wrote a letter to teachers last week that scolded the union for a premature strike vote.
The two sides are far apart on teacher salary raises. CPS is pitching a two percent teacher raise over the next two years; CTU would like a 29 percent pay hike for teachers over this period.
Check back with Progress Illinois for more on this story, as CTU will hold a press briefing on the issue at 1 p.m. at its downtown Chicago headquarters.