CTU 3-day vote could allow strike in 2016

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago Teachers Union says it'll conduct a strike authorization vote next week, but a possible walkout would still take months.

In a statement Thursday, CTU officials say there'll be a vote for the union's nearly 27,000 members from Dec. 9-11. State law says 75 percent of membership must approve strike authorization.

Negotiations must also move through a lengthy so-called "fact-finding" process where a panel including representatives from the union and Chicago Public Schools make final offers on contested issues. A month after that process, the union could strike.

Union spokeswoman Stephanie Gadlin says March is likely the earliest teachers could walk off the job.

CTU's contract expired over the summer. Both sides are getting help from a mediator, though talks haven't progressed.

Chicago teachers went on strike in 2012.

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