For the second time in seven years, Chicago Public Schools teachers will be on strike starting Thursday, walking out of class, they say, in the name of better schools.
Gathered on the stage of the union hall on Wednesday, the Chicago Teachers Union said its delegates were in full support of moving forward with a strike. Delegates had already authorized the walkout and set a date so it would have taken a reversal to cancel the strike.
“We have not achieved what we need to bring justice and high quality schools to the children and teachers of Chicago,” said CTU President Jesse Sharkey. “We need to have the tools we need to do the job at our schools. We need pay and benefits that will give us dignity and respect. We are on strike until we can do better.”
EDUCATORS IN DENVER ARE preparing to strike on Monday after newly elected Democratic Gov. Jared Polis declined to intervene in a pay dispute between teacher union officials and school district officials, setting up the first strike in Colorado’s biggest school district in 25 years.
“It is incredibly disappointing that [Denver Public Schools] has not yet taken our discussions at the bargaining table seriously,” Henry Roman, president of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, said in a statement. “Now we will exercise our right to strike for the schools our students deserve.”
Before teachers take to the picket line, the two sides have a last-ditch negotiation effort scheduled for Friday, where they will try to close what Polis characterized as “small, limited differences.”
Teachers in Los Angeles, the nation’s second largest school district, are preparing to go on strike. The district last saw a teacher strike nearly 30 years ago.
If no deal is reached, more than 30,000 members of United Teachers Los Angeles wouldn’t go to work, affecting roughly 480,000 public school students.
The union has been holding out, primarily, for the district to reduce class sizes and hire more nurses, librarians and counselors, all of whom the union also represents. District leaders have resisted, saying they don’t have the money to pay for the level of changes the union wants.