An independent fact finder has recommended that Chicago teachers receive a 14.85 percent raise to “compensate teachers for working a longer school day and year,” a union official union said Monday, the Associated Press reports. The announcement is the latest turn in acrimonious negotiations that prompted teachers in the nation’s third-largest school district to authorize their leaders to call a strike this fall. However, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis did say whether the report would make a strike more or less likely.

“We are not making that kind of judgment,” Lewis told The Associated Press after a news conference. “Now we will start talking to our members.”

Lewis declined to release the report. But she said a key finding supports what teachers have been complaining about throughout an acrimonious negotiating process that led them last month to overwhelmingly authorize a strike. She said the fact finder, Edwin Benn, not only found that teachers are being asked to work an average of 19.4 percent more thanks to a longer school day, but that it is unrealistic to expect teachers to work that much longer without additional compensation…

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staff and wire services reports