Chicago Teachers Union Plans1-day Strike on April 1, Potential Scabs Warned
The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has scheduled a one-day strike on Fri., April 1 and CTU members have been warned that if they cross picket lines, they could be booted from the organization. Many including CTU members are asking why a one-day strike billed “A Day of Action” has been planned in the first place.
The Chicago Teachers Union spelled out the answer to that question via a blog on its website saying:
“Our Big Bargaining Team tried to get a decent contract for the members to vote on. The Big Bargaining Team rejected a four-year contract where many of our members would be earning less at the end than at the beginning with loss of a year of lanes and steps, doubling of the health-care premium and a cost of living increase that does not replace the loss of the pension pick-up. They asked the Board to offer us a flat contract, keep steps and lanes, no health-care increases but no raises. The Board said they could not afford that commitment.”
Additionally, the CTU states that the strike will aid in its push towards getting rid of the State Charter Commission (which according to CTU makes a charter moratorium meaningless). And the strike is expected to emphasize CTU’s drive towards an Elected School Board, restoring the pension levy and supporting progressive revenue legislation like a millionaire’s tax, progressive income tax, the closure of corporate loopholes and TIF reform.
After the strike, at around 4:00 p.m., CTU members will demonstrate in front of the State of Illinois Thompson Building in downtown Chicago. Many CTU allies in more than a dozen unions and more than forty community organizations are expected to join in on the rally.
The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has called the strike illegal and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool said in a recent interview on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight program that teachers will not be paid for the day of the strike.
“We are looking at all options. I would say that in a handful of days, the likelihood of getting a court to issue an injunction is small given how the courts work,” Claypool said. “That does not mean there won’t be consequences for the action…teachers certainly won’t be paid on that day.”
Claypool continued, “I don’t think a strike – inconveniencing parents and taking a day of instruction away from our children – is the way to act. Punishing our children and parents is not the way you get Springfield to act.”
Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis also appeared on an earlier WTTW Chicago Tonight program.
During her interview she said, “CPS should be with us marching for the revenue because we are working with other organizations that are suffering because of the budget impasse…We will eventually get a contract. But what good is a contract if there’s no money to pay for it?”
Parents who cannot make other arrangements on April 1 can take their children to one of over 250 locations around the city, including schools, libraries and parks, with adult supervisors. Go to http://cps.edu/Pages/home.aspx for additional information.
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