Last Friday, the Chicago Teachers Union took to the streets for a one-day strike at city schools. Teachers and other supporters marched downtown after efforts have stalled to renew a contract that expired at the end of June.
The march shut down the nation’s third largest school district for the day. The president of the Chicago Teachers Union hopes this will encourage lawmakers to increase revenue for the school system, which is facing a nearly $500 million deficit.
Teachers from Chicago Public Schools have expressed their wishes for the union and lawmakers to come together and arrive at an agreement, stating that students should not be left to suffer due to politics.
The CEO of Chicago Public Schools claims that the strike was not legal and has filed a complaint against the union with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board.
He hopes to secure a preemptive injunction to prevent similar strikes from occurring in the future, as well as reimbursement for expenses related to Friday’s strike, citing concern that children’s education should not be affected by the actions of the Chicago Teachers Union leaders.
A union spokesperson has discredited the claims and instead has called on the public school system to join the union in battling for increased revenue for Chicago schools.
Ongoing Contract Negotiations
Following the strike, the union is searching for ways to keep up the momentum. Contract negotiations are still ongoing; the final phase is set to end this May. An open-ended strike could occur if an agreement hasn’t been made by then.
Union representatives are hopeful that the Friday walkout will generate action from government leaders. The one-day strike has raised awareness of the funding issues faced by public schools.
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