Chicago Teachers Strike After Union Talks Break Down
Posted on Sep 10, 2012
Roughly 25,000 Chicago teachers are on strike Monday after the latest contract talks ended without resolution late Sunday just days after the new school year began in the nation’s third-largest district.
On Monday morning, teachers set up picket lines outside the district’s schools and the Chicago Public Schools headquarters.
The last time teachers in Chicago went on strike was 1987, when they walked off the job for 19 days.
Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis announced late Sunday night that weekend talks had failed to resolve all the union’s issues. “We have failed to reach an agreement that will prevent a labor strike,” she said. “No CTU members will be inside of our schools Monday.”
After an all-day negotiating session Sunday, school board President David Vitale told reporters the district had changed its proposal 20 times over the course of talks and didn’t have much more to offer.
“This is about as much as we can do,” Vitale said. “There is only so much money in the system.”
... With a strike, CPS will put its contingency plan in effect, opening 144 schools to students from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. But parents are being urged to find alternatives and use the schools only as a last resort. The city’s 118 charter schools are not affected by a strike.
—Posted by Tracy Bloom.
AP/M. Spencer Green
Chicago teachers walk a picket line outside Benjamin Banneker Elementary School early Monday.