Chicago teachers are inching closer to a strike.
Sept. 10 is the date that the Chicago Teachers Union will strike if the CTU and Mayor Rahm Emanuel (and administrators) do not end the stalemate. On Labor Day, scores of teachers clad in red were joined by several unionized organizations including United Auto Workers; the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; and the Chicago Firefighters Union.
“Brothers and sisters, we did not start this fight,” Lewis told the crowd gathered outside of Daley Plaza. “Enough is enough.”
The crowd, union officials state there were 18,000 people, chanted in agreement: “Enough is enough!”
After the rally, the crowd marched outside the City Hall-County Building, and proceeded to the Chicago Public Schools offices.
At issue is a smaller classroom size for teachers, nurses, counselors, and a more-rounded school day for students, to include art, music, gym, recess, and foreign languages. However, the school board has been operating on a very tight budget, one that is poised to have a $665 million budget deficit for next year.
CTU President Karen Lewis called the union’s contract negotiations “a fight for the very soul of public education — not only in Chicago, but everywhere.”