The arbitrator, Edwin Benn, 63, a Glencoe attorney, was given the task of figuring out fair compensation for CPS teachers as they begin working a longer school day next year. - OH WAIT... Edwin Benn??? That was the arbitrator who gave the Chicago cops a 2% raise....
Chicago Public Schools and the teachers union this week are both expected to reject an arbitrator's long-awaited fact-finding report, which recommends a double-digit salary hike that both sides agree could force teacher layoffs and larger class sizes, according to sources close to the negotiations.
The arbitrator is expected to recommend that teacher salaries be increased 15 to 20 percent in the contract's first year, based largely on the longer school day that begins in the fall, sources said. The increase would include hikes for experience and for pursuing graduate degrees, compensation that CPS has tried to eliminate.
The recommended raises would be devastating to a district poised to deplete its cash reserves to close an expected $665 million deficit next school year. The district also faces hundreds of millions of dollars in teacher pension payments that will come due in 2014.
The Chicago Teachers Union had gone into negotiations asking for a wage increase of nearly 30 percent over two years. Sources said the union realizes that the price of a major pay hike in terms of lost jobs and working conditions would be too high.
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