Chicago teachers vote on strike authorization

CHICAGO -- Teachers heading to schools across Chicago will vote on whether they approve a strike today.

It’s the second time the Chicago Teachers Union has called for a vote to authorize a strike in nine months, and the union hopes to have all ballots cast by Friday.

The strike re-authorization vote follows a meeting Tuesday night where the SEIU and other unions vowed their solidarity and support should Chicago teachers go on strike. It could happen as early as next month.

Chicago teachers have been working without a contract since June of last year. Negotiations continue but both sides are still split on compensation, pension contributions and other issues.

Union supporters say strike authorization provides leverage and many are hopeful teachers won’t have to walkout like they did for a day in April, or go on strike like they did in 2012.

State law requires at least 75 percent membership approval for any union to strike. The CTU's previous strike vote back in December garnered 88 percent, and the union is confident this week's vote will also show overwhelming approval.

By law, the CTU must provide at least ten days’ notice ahead of any strike action.