Chicago teacher say union strike vote totals ready next week

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Teachers Union says official vote totals for a strike authorization will likely be available early next week.

A three-day voting period for roughly 27,000 members ends Friday. In a statement, CTU officials say counting votes will stretch into the evening and they anticipate releasing results publicly as early as Monday.

State law says 75 percent of membership must approve authorization. However, even if it’s approved a possible walkout could still take months.

The process includes moving 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.

Union officials say March is likely the earliest teachers could strike.

CTU’s contract expired over the summer, but talks haven’t progressed.

Chicago teachers went on strike in 2012.