After a day of picketing in front of local schools with many families and communities rooting them on, the Chicago Teachers Union made downtown Chicago into a sea of red as day one of the strike moved into the early evening. It’s been twenty-five years since the union had struck. The focus of this historic strike is not about pay, but instead standing up against policies that are a “brazen attempt to shift public resources into private hands, to break the power of teachers unions, and to reduce the teaching profession to test preparation” (see Reuters article).
CTU President, Karen Lewis, also explains why CTU is on strike at Common Dreams.
As a national Network of Teacher Activist Groups (TAG), we believe Chicago teachers are in a crucial battle to defend public education and make schools more equitable and just. The outcome of this struggle will not only impact the people of Chicago, but also set the tone for promoting educational equity across the nation. Their fight is our fight. We will be continuing to ask educators, school social workers, parents, students, youth workers, and any concerned community members to join us in support and solidarity for the CTU teachers as they stand up to the powerful forces aligned to dismantle public education.
For background on the strike and the reform movement that CTU is standing up against go here. You can also catch some of the conversation on yesterday’s Democracy Now
Here Pauline Lipman of TAG member organization, Teachers for Social Justice (Chicago), examines the strike and the conditions necessitating the strike with Amy Goodman
Here, Phil Cantor, a teacher and strike captain at Chicago’s North-Grand High School and member of Teachers for Social Justice, and Rhoda Rae Gutierrez, the mother of two public school students in Chicago and a member of the grassroots group Parents 4 Teachers, discuss the strike.
Stay up to date and make your pledge.
TAG will continue to be presenting updates on our home page. Last night contract negotiations continued with both sides deciding to consider new proposals that have been presented.
In the mean time please make your pledge of support and ask others you know to do the same.
There are many ways to pledge your support but below are just a few ideas:
- Teach about labor history and the importance of unions for working people;
- Organize a discussion and solidarity statement in my school, educational program, or community;
- Push my union to send a statement of solidarity to the CTU;
- Donate to the CTU solidarity fund here