Today, the Chicago Teachers Union will file a 10-day strike notice – the legal action that is required before teachers may go on strike. The majority of CTU members granted Karen Lewis, president of the CTU, approval to file the notice.
The filing means that teachers may go on strike anytime after September 10 – the first day of the first full school week for most CPS students. The CTU is still playing coy about whether or not the rumors of the filing are true. Jesse Sharkey, vice president of the CTU, told ABC Local 7 news that he can neither confirm nor deny that the rumors of the strike filing are true.
The CTU is also attempting to make CPS CEO, Jean-Claude Brizard, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel sweat, dangling the possibility of a strike over their heads to gain leverage at the negotiation table. Sharkey explained that once the notification of a strike is filed, it remains valid for months – allowing teachers to strike at whim.
According to an August 29 report by ABC’s Jessica D’Onofrio, “Teachers say they are stuck on salary increases, job security, adequate staffing for the longer school day and pay hikes based on experience.” None of these issues affect or would benefit CPS students, though CTU members have constantly proclaimed that they are fighting for the best schools for the children.
D’Onofrio quotes George Armstrong elementary teacher, Aleyse Faibisoff, as saying, “The strike has already hurt kids — even when there’s not been a strike.” This begs the question, how much more hurt will be inflicted on the students by an actual strike? Those CTU teachers…always thinking of the kids.