The Chicago Teachers Union's House of Delegates voted last night to accept a tentative agreement, ending the two-week-old strike that idled 430,000 students and 35,000 employes in the nation's third-largest school system.
The vote of 605 to 59 followed an all-night bargaining session in which weary negotiators hammered out the tentative agreement that would allow schools to reopen today.
Technically, the strike does not end until the agreement is ratified by rank-and-file union members. This is expected to take place within 10 days.
The agreement provides a 4.5 percent salary increase and other benefits to the teachers and 17 non-teaching unions.
"We didn't get everything that we wanted, but that is the nature of negotiations," said Timothy Bresnahan, co-chairman of the union coalition.
The non-teaching unions, with the exception of the engineers' union, did not have to formally ratify the new contract, Bresnahan said.
The one-year proposal also calls for a one-time bonus of 2.5 percent for the district's 28,000 teachers, plus five makeup days for the two school weeks lost in the strike, Board of Education member Raul Villalobos said.
Teachers' annual salaries currently range from $15,471 to $30,759.
The salary increases became possible when the teachers agreed to some cuts in their medical benefits, Villalobos said. "Both sides gave cuts to fund salary questions," he added.