Collective Bargaining Information Page 


The Chicago Public Schools has collective bargaining agreements with seven unions representing tens of thousands of employees working for the District.

This website is designed to provide the public with access to factual, accurate and timely information around the collective bargaining process and issues related to that process. CPS will update this site on an ongoing basis to continue informing the public about this process over the next several weeks and months to come.

The collective bargaining agreement that has the greatest impact on the District is with the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), as its members represent the greatest number of employees in our system.  The collective bargaining process with the CTU is changing significantly due to the new state education reform law known widely at Senate Bill 7 (SB7), which was passed by the Illinois General Assembly and signed by Gov. Pat Quinn last year. This page also contains key links and information regarding this new reform law.

Glossary of Key Terms

The process by which a labor union that is the exclusive representative of a group of employees and their employer engage in good faith negotiations to reach agreement over wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment detailed in the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act (IELRA). CPS is currently engaged in collective bargaining processes with seven different labor unions.
Section 10 of the IELRA requires CPS to engage in good faith negotiation over a variety of economic and non-economic issues with the labor organizations that represent its employees. These mandatory subjects of bargaining typically include wages and salaries, expense reimbursements, health care, paid days off leaves of absence, disciplinary procedures, health and safety, equipment, work space, etc.
Section 4.5 of the IELRA identifies several topics over which the employer, CPS, has exclusive decision making authority. However, when requested, CPS has an obligation to bargain with its employees' representatives over the impact of those decisions. Employees may not engage in a strike over Section 4.5 decisions or disputes or impasses. Section 4.5 subjects include layoffs, subcontracting, class size, hours and places of instruction, class staffing and assignment, the length the school year and day, and the length of work day and year.
A method or process used to break a stalemate in negotiations or to restart constructive talks. Methods may include voluntary arbitration, mediation, fact-finding, etc. Methods are established by the IELRA and differ depending on whether the disputed issue is a mandatory subject or a Section 4.5 subject of bargaining. CPS is required to use mediation and fact-finding on mandatory subjects.
A process by which a neutral third party (mediator) helps two parties reach an agreement on disputed terms. This process is usually applied when collective bargaining becomes difficult and the parties have trouble reaching a compromise. A mediator typically does not make recommendations but attempts to help the parties see the opposing points of view.
A process by which mandatory subjects of bargaining are submitted to a three person panel for a recommended resolution. The panel is composed of one member from each party at the negotiation table, and one neutral member (the Fact-Finder) agreed to by both parties. Members from both parties present their respective proposals, along with supporting evidence to the Fact-Finder. After 75 days, the Fact-Finder presents a private report with recommendations on the issues presented. Upon issuance of the report, both parties have 15 days to accept or reject the proposal. If either party rejects the recommendations in the report, the report becomes public.

Links to Policies and Resources

Teacher Evaluation at CPS, REACH Students

More Information About the Collective Bargaining Process

  • Summary of the Illinois Education Reform Act of 2011 (SB007)

Important Issues Affecting the Collective Bargaining Process

  • Section 4.5 Subjects
  • Subjects of Bargaining Within the Scope of Appendix A (Subjects the independent fact finder can consider)
  • Frequently Asked Questions about the Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA) 

Collective Bargaining Organizations that Represent CPS Employees 

Chicago Teachers Union Local 1 American Federation of Teachers AFL-CIO
Read the agreement Between the Board of Education of the City of Chicago and Chicago Teachers Union - Local 1, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO

  • Overview of CPS-CTU Negotiation Process 

Timeline for Collective Bargaining

Impasse Resolution Procedure Timeline

Click on the chart to enlarge, download or print.

UNITE HERE - Local 1
Read the agreement Between the Chicago Board of Education and the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union UNITE HERE - Local 1

Service Employees Interational Union (SEIU) - Local 73
Read the agreement Between the Chicago Board of Education and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) - Local 73

State & Municipal Teamsters, Chauffeurs & Helpers Union
Read the agreement Between the Chicago Board of Education and the State & Municipal Teamsters, Chauffeurs & Helpers Union – Local 700

International Union of Operating Engineers - Local 143-143B
Read the agreement Between the Chicago Board of Education and The International Union of Operating Engineers – Local 143-143B

The Firemen & Oilers - Local 7, AFL-CIO
Read the agreement Between the Chicago Board of Education and the Firemen & Oilers (have since merged with the SEIU), Firemen & Oilers, Local 7, AFL-CIO 

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 134
Read the agreement Between the Chicago Board of Education and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 134