Updated: August 3, 2011 10:09PM
The four-percent annual pay raises were in the union contract in black and white — but so was the language that allowed the money to be taken away.
The Chicago Board of Education agreed to give unionized teachers 4 percent annual raises in the five-year contract that went into effect in 2007. But the agreement also stipulated that those increases were “contingent upon a reasonable expectation” that the board had the money.
On Wednesday, the board unanimously agreed that there was a “reasonable expectation” that they did not have the money to fund the raises previously set to begin July 1 for members of the Chicago Teachers Union and seven other bargaining units representing public school workers.
The board’s move allows the unions to reopen negotiations on wages, and if no agreement is reached, toss out the entire contract and ultimately to strike.