March 27, 2016
By Doug Cunningham
Workers Independent News
Chicago, IL – An April Fool's Day unfair labor practice strike is on after the Chicago Teacher's Union House of Delegates voted overwhelmingly to authorize the strike and Day of Action throughout Chicago.
CTU President Karen Lewis told reporters teachers are unified and in solidarity with Chicago communities as the union battles for full funding of public education in Chicago.
[Karen Lewis]: "So on April 1st we will not be working. We will not be submissive. We will stand up. Chant: CTU! CTU! This house is ready and united."
Lewis says the crisis in Chicago public schools is as deep as any the teachers have seen in a generation.
Chicago Public Schools had threatened to stop making pension payments April 1st – the equivalent of a 7 percent pay cut for teachers – while also threatening mass teacher layoffs and imposing three unpaid "furlough days" this year. Since the union announced the strike CPS decided not to end the pension payments April 1st. But it could still impose that cut in May.
Lewis says the union is watching as the powerful and wealthy undercut public education. neglect the teacher pension fund, restrict collective bargaining rights and pass tax breaks for corporations and the rich – all the while trying to make teachers pay for the crisis the wealthy and powerful have created. To hear the audio click the following link