Education, Features, Health and Safety, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

Chicago School Strike Begins

October 19, 2019

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

CHICAGO, Ill.—More than 30,000 Chicago Public Schools teachers and support staff hit the picket lines early in the morning Oct. 17, one day after the Chicago Teachers Union rejected Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s contract offer. “We have not achieved what we need to bring justice and high-quality schools to the children and teachers of Chicago,” CTU President Jesse Sharkey told reporters after the decision. The mayor said the city had offered a five-year deal that would have given a 16% raise for teachers and increased pay for support staff workers, represented by SEIU Local 73, by an average of 38%. The union objected that the offer did not reduce class sizes —more than 40 students in some schools—increase support staff such as nurses and counselors, or make up for years of budget cuts. “I’m striking because class size does matter,” Victoria Winslow, 29, a first-grade teacher on the West Side, told USA Today. “Our support staff deserves a livable wage, and we only have a nurse one day a week—are we supposed to stop teaching and become nurses?” About 2,500 city parks workers who had planned to join the strike reached a separate contract deal Oct. 16. Read more

October 19, 2019

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.