May 10, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Chicago, IL – The Chicago Teachers Union said May 4 that it's not likely to go on strike again during this school year—unless the city school system unilaterally decides to cut off its contribution to their pensions and dump the cost on teachers.
The teachers, who have been working under an expired contract all year, could legally walk out any time after May 16, but they plan to concentrate on getting more school aid from the city and state. “We've made a serious play about getting the schools funded, we have to watch that play out," CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey said. “Right now, we're focused on trying to get revenue.” On May 2, CTU President Karen Lewis urged Mayor Rahm Emanuel to have the city raise revenue by increasing fuel and hotel taxes and putting a tax on rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. While the school district faces a pension bill of about $675 million next month. Lewis said she did not expect that it would end the pension pickup, 7% of teachers’ salaries, because “it doesn't save them enough to poison the waters.” Read more