The union of roughly 1,500 employees has been in negotiations since October of last year and started a strike authorization vote on Sept. 28. The union announced 92% of 1,208 voting members approved the strike on October 6.
If a strike goes for too long to complete the semester as required by the Illinois Community College Board, the semester will be extended to make up for the lost minutes, Johnson said.
The City College employees are demanding annual compensation increases that take the current rate of inflation into account—they are currently being offered increases of 3% annually. They are also seeking smaller class sizes, lab assistance and more public investment for what they call “the common good,” said Johnston.
“This would expand the sustainable community school model, currently in CPS, to include the City Colleges, which would allow for the City Colleges to partner with these sustainable high schools and also with social service organizations,” he said.
A letter on their demands reads, “Our faculty and professionals teach and provide support to over 60,000 students enrolled in the City Colleges of Chicago. We provide the most affordable and excellent post-secondary opportunities for working families in Chicago. We are committed to bringing the valuable educational services back to the neighborhoods where they belong.”
Veronica Resa, a spokesperson with City Colleges said in a statement that “City Colleges is committed to negotiating in good faith with each of our professionals and faculty unions to finalize their respective contracts.”