CPS Contract Summary 

September 16, 2012



2003 contract

2007 contract

2012 contract

Length of Day

Students gain 7 minutes per day.

No change from 5 ¾ hours per day.

Elementary students gain 1 ¼ hours to create a 7 hour school day. High school students gain ½ hour to create a 7 ½ hour school day.

Length of Year

Students lose 7 days, falling from 177 to 170 instructional days.

No change from 170 days.

Students gain 10 full instructional days.


Academic Calendar

Multiple calendars with different start and end dates for students.

Maintains multiple calendar system.

A unified calendar is created so all public school children attend school on the same days. A joint Board-Union Committee created to work on specifics.

Teacher Evaluation

Maintains the 1967 evaluation system.

Maintains the 1967 evaluation system.

Student growth is part of evaluation for first time, accounting for 25% of evaluation in years 1 and 2; 30% in year 3; 35% year 4; and potentially 40% in year 5 if Joint Committee approves. A student survey will be piloted in Year 2, with implementation in Year 3 at 10% of total, subject to Joint Committee.


Tenured teachers will continue to be evaluated on biennial cycle if receiving a Proficient or Excellent rating. 


Unsatisfactory and Developing teachers will face layoff in Year 1. Remediation and dismissal may occur immediately post-rating (which tenured teachers receive in Year 2 of implementation).

Contract Duration

4 years

5 years

3 years with the option of 4th year based on trigger.

Recall and Layoff

Principals maintain authority to hire whichever teacher they deem best.


Layoffs done by seniority only,
without consideration of performance.

Principals maintain authority to hire whichever teacher they deem best.


Layoffs done by seniority only,
without consideration of performance.

Principals maintain full authority to hire whichever teacher they deem best.


When schools are consolidated, closed or phased-out, highly-rated teachers will have the opportunity to follow their students to the consolidated school. Order of layoff is by performance: Unsatisfactory teachers first, then by class (probationary/tenured), then by Developing (formerly Needs Improvement – in two groups, those rated lower in this category then those rated higher), and then Proficient/Excellent.

Quality Teacher Initiative

No system.

No system.

For the first time, CPS will have hiring standards for teachers that have earned credentials beyond a certification to teach.  Initiative will create hiring standards to ensure all candidates meet minimum hiring requirements to raise the bar on the quality of our teachers and to ensure that all teachers across the city meet these minimum expectations. The Initiative also creates guaranteed interviews for tenured highly-rated teachers who are laid off because of closings, consolidations, phase-outs, enrollment drops and academic reasons. CPS will aim to fill 50% of vacancies with Proficient and Excellent displaced tenured teachers. Principals will not be restrained by this goal and will continue to have the ability to hire the highest quality candidates of their choosing.

Cost of Living Increase

4% per year

4% per year

First year 3%, followed by 2% in Year 2 and 2% in Year 3.  If accepting a 4thyear, will receive 3%.


Unchanged from past contract.

Adds steps 14 – 16.


Reformed to incent retention of more senior teachers and to result in short term and long-term savings over current system. 


Unchanged from past contract.

Unchanged from past contract.

Unchanged from past contract.

Career Ladders, Lanes and Differentiated Compensation



Joint Board-Union pay committee to be formed to study lane movement, differentiated compensation and career ladders.  Teacher credentials or roles to be considered may include: Teacher Leader, Professional Development Teacher, Mentor Teacher, Peer Observer, Department Chair, and more.  Credentials will further highlight exceptional teachers, help teachers develop professionally, and will assist principals in identifying top talent for their schools.


Contributions remain the same.

Contributions remain the same, and LMCC created.

Contribution rates remain frozen, with LMCC authority revised to permit changes to defray increases in healthcare costs. Introduces a comprehensive wellness program at no cost to employee but with opt-out premium differential.

Sick Leave

Sick days continued to be paid out.

Unused sick leave banks increased. Employees can accumulate up to 325 days for payout and pension service credit after 20 years of service.

Eliminate sick leave payout going forward without penalizing existing banks. Permit banking of up to 40 days for use as sick days, FMLA leaves, and pension service credit, but not for payout purposes. Adds short-term disability policy that provides for paid maternity leave, other illness leaves, and may add paternity leave policy of 2 to 3 weeks.

Personal Days

Unused personal days are paid out to employees.

Unused personal days are paid out to employees.

Unused personal days are no longer compensated.

Class Size

Remains the same.

Remains the same.

Maintains current class size policy.


School Choice



CPS maintains complete freedom to offer quality school options, including STEM schools, International Baccalaureate (IB) programs, charter schools and selective enrollment.

Enhanced Pension Program

$124M in increased pension liability.

$114M in increased pension liability.

Program eliminated.

Contract Cost

$534 million over four years, or $133 million per year.

$645 million over five years, or $129 million per year.

$295 million over four years, or $74 million per year. Includes reduced cost from COLA reduction, step and lane compensation, and savings in layoff benefits, sick day compensation, and a new wellness program.


   Students lose 7 days.

   Students gain 7 minutes per day.



   Instructional time remains the same.

   No reforms to teacher evaluation.

   Elementary students gain 1 ¼ hours and high school students gain a ½ hour. All students gain two additional weeks.

   Principals retain authority to hire teachers of their choice.

   For the first time, layoff decisions will be based on performance.

   Groundbreaking evaluation system that accounts for student growth and supports teacher development.


About CPS

Chicago Public Schools serves 402,000 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.


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