February 13, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Chicago, IL – Several thousand Chicago teachers and supporters protested Feb. 4, blocking evening rush-hour traffic in the downtown Loop.
The demonstration capped a week in which the Chicago Teachers Union’s bargaining team unanimously rejected city public schools’ proposal for a four-year contract, and district officials responded by announcing that they planned to cut $75 million in funding and reduce their share of teachers’ pension-fund contributions from 78% to zero. CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey told the Chicago Tribune that the district’s offer, which included a promise of no “economic layoffs,” some pay increases, and a limit on the number of privately run charter schools, “was a serious attempt,” but added, “what we heard loud and clear from our rank and file is that we don't trust the district enough just to have assurances and promises.” Sixteen people were arrested in a sit-in outside the offices of the Bank of America, which has made financial deals engineered by school administrators. Read more