For the last 25 years, the labor squabbles between the government of the city of Chicago and its teachers union have gone on without any real labor stoppage. That’s going to change. The Chicago Teachers Union has approved a strike that begins on Monday. An estimated 26,000 teachers and other union support personnel will not be showing up for work, meaning that an awful lot of kids will be looking at new faces in the classroom (or at least old faces from other jobs, like principals, administrators, secretaries, and the like).
“We will be on the (picket) line,” Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said after the negotiations broke down between the teachers and the government in the nation’s third-largest public school system.
The crux, as always, is pay first and foremost, followed by job security. Facing a $700 million dollar shortfall, Mayor Rahm Emanuel had cancelled a previously-negotiated 4 percent pay raise, instead trying to push through a 2 percent raise a year for four years. The union refused, and is now calling for a 30 percent pay raise over two years, then a 25 percent pay increase over two years. The union also had concerns about step raises for teacher experience and education, as well as a slightly longer (90 minutes) school day, teacher evaluations, and other associated benefits and measure rubrics.
Tags: Chicago, Illinois, teacher strike, teachers go on strike, Chicago teachers go on strike, 26000 teachers go on strike in chicago, chicago teachers go on strike, public school teachers, chicago teachers union, karen lewis, rahm emanuel, organized labor, education, unions, first teacher strike in 25 years in chicago