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Chicago Teachers and Park Workers Set Oct. 17 Strike Deadline

October 11, 2019

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

CHICAGO, Ill.—Chicago’s teachers, school support staff, and park district workers announced Oct. 2 that they have set a joint Oct. 17 strike date. The deadline gave the city two weeks to work out a deal with the Chicago Teachers Union and Service Employees International Union Local 73, which represents 7,500 school support workers and 2,500 Chicago Park District employees. “The mayor can either do what’s right at the table, or can face a unified strike of both CTU and SEIU together,” CTU President Jesse Sharkey told reporters. He said the city had made its first “serious” offer the previous week, after teachers voted 94% in favor of a strike, but that it fell short on issues including teacher preparation time, class sizes, and understaffing. For SEIU Local 73, wages are the biggest issue. “I have a question for the mayor, and I have a question for the people that run the parks and the schools,” SEIU Local 73 President Dian Palmer said. “Do they feel guilty when they pay workers less than $20,000 a year?” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city has offered both teachers and support staff a 16% raise over five years. Read more

October 11, 2019

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