City Colleges of Chicago averts strike after reaching tentative contract agreement with faculty, staff union

Faculty and professional staff at the City Colleges of Chicago have reached a tentative agreement on a new union contract and called off their planned strike later this week.

The workers represented by the Cook County Colleges Teachers Union had been in negotiations with City Colleges administrators for more than a year over pay, class sizes and other educational supports.

"We’re so happy to announce that our union bargaining team was able to secure a tentative agreement last night and avert a strike," CCCTU President Tony Johnston said in a statement Monday.


City Colleges spokeswoman Veronica Resa said the deal "ensures our students receive a high-quality educational experience and recognizes the hard work of our faculty and staff." Classes will proceed this week as normal, she said.

The two sides reached a four-year agreement with "fair salary increases that recognize current economic conditions," smaller class sizes and a "plan to assess student and community needs and provide wraparound services," Johnston said.

Graduates of Truman College celebrate on May 1, 2022, at Wintrust Arena during the City Colleges of Chicago commencement ceremony for associate degree earners. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images / Getty Images)

The nearly 1,500 union members at the seven City Colleges campuses — including professors, college advisors, tutors, note-takers, laboratory technicians and IT personnel — are expected to vote on the tentative agreement in the next few weeks.

"We’ll be sharing details of the agreement with our members in the days ahead, and we’re confident they’ll agree that we’ve secured the additional supports we have been fighting for on behalf of Chicago’s most marginalized students and communities," Johnston said.

Negotiations began in October 2021 and reached a boiling point earlier this month when the union authorized a strike with 92% member approval. Some members picketed outside Harold Washington College before the City Colleges board meeting this month.