Of course, the offer still has to be voted on by the union's Big Bargaining Team, the House of Delegates, and ultimately ratified by the membership itself if a strike is to be avoided. This is what union democracy looks like.
The details of the offer aren't being made public. But Lewis says that the "basic framework calls for economic concessions in exchange for enforceable protections of education quality and job security." She says those losses could include the end of the city's practice of picking up the bulk of teachers' required contributions to their pensions. But she says that the union would not bend on another key issue, incremental pay increases known as "step and lane" bumps that are doled out based on seniority and experience.
An agreement and lessening the threat of a teachers strike may also take some political heat off the mayor, especially with the IL Democratic primary coming up in March. A strike would surely be another giant nail in his political coffin.
The next test will be whether the unions, battered social service agencies, and community organizations can keep the pressure on Sen. Pres. Cullerton and House Speaker Madigan to keep them from selling out to Rauner's demands. Cullerton is already showing his willingness to coalesce with Rauner on another pension-theft bill, even after the last one was declared unconstitutional by the State Supreme Court.