The Chicago Teachers Union reported a tentative agreement with schools management Wednesday night, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot is holding up the end of the strike in a disagreement over make-up instructional days. In previous strikes, the schools have added make-up days to the end of the school year—but Lightfoot doesn’t want to do that.
Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey spoke highly of the tentative agreement, saying in a statement that “This deal will move us closer to ensuring that our most vulnerable students receive the instruction, resources and wraparound services they need to thrive. No educator wants to leave their classroom, but our 10-day struggle was the only option we had to enshrine, ensure and enforce real change for our students and school communities. This contract will put a nurse in every school, a social worker in every school and provide a real solution for thousands of homeless students in Chicago.” But, he said, “By not restoring days of instruction to our students lost during the strike, the mayor is making it clear that she is more concerned about politics than the well-being of students.”
Lightfoot objects to the make-up days because teachers would be paid for those days, saying “I’m not compensating them for days that they were out on strike.” Which is … not what would be happening since they would be working those days, but way to try to score a cheap political hit on your way out!
Lightfoot and schools management had supposedly been very concerned about instructional time (at the expense of the prep time teachers pressed for), but apparently that wasn’t really such a concern. The teachers also expressed frustration at Lightfoot’s admission that “There’s a lot of work that we could have done sooner, but we didn’t start to do really until the strike”—making her own lack of preparation in large part responsible for the length of the strike.
The teachers report that the agreement includes 209 additional social workers, 250 additional nurses, investments in staff education and recruitment, $35 million a year to reduce class size, and added funding for sports coaches and equipment.
The agreement has been accepted by the union’s House of Delegates, which would allow the strike to end if an agreement can be reached on make-up days. The CTU’s full membership would then vote on ratifying it. On Wednesday, school staffers in SEIU 73, who went out on strike with the teachers, voted to ratify their own contract.
Educators, students, and union laborers rally at Union Park during the Chicago Teachers Union strike on Oct. 26.Tyler LaRiviere/Chicago Sun-Times/AP After 11 days, the Chicago teachers’ strike is finally over. On Wednesday night, a week and a half after tens of thousands of teachers walked out of classrooms to demand more support staff, higher pay, […]
Chicago’s teachers are on strike for the first time since 2012. AP Photo/Martha IrvineBradley D. Marianno, University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Katharine O. Strunk, Michigan State University Classes in Chicago’s public schools were canceled starting Oct. 17 as more than 25,000 teachers in the nation’s third-largest school district went on strike in what they’re […]
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