Chicago teachers go on strikeAgence France-Presse
CHICAGO – For the first time in a quarter-century, public school teachers in Chicago said they will go on strike Monday, demanding higher pay, a more adequate teacher evaluation system and better job security.
“We have failed to reach an agreement that will prevent a labour strike,” Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis said in a statement. “No CTU members will be inside of our schools Monday.”
The action will involve about 25,000 teachers, who are expected to take part in school picketing.
However, union leaders are expected to remain at the negotiating table in the hopes of working out a favourable deal.
Teachers are demanding higher pay for working longer days. Their initial demand was a 30-percent salary hike.
But in the course of the negotiation, the union made clear it would accept a smaller raise in exchange for less restrictive job evaluations and for establishing a recall procedure for teachers who’d been laid off as a result of school closings, consolidations and turnarounds.
The Chicago school district is the third-largest in the nation, and the strike will affect about 350,000 children from kindergarten through high school.