Readings & Media Coverage

Chicago Teachers Strike Could Portend Referendum on Obama Admin’s Approach to Education Reform

Democracy Now interview with Pauline Lipman



Delegates Vote Overwhelming For Union to Issue
10-Day Strike Notice; No Strike Date Set

August 22, 2012
312/890-0866 (Cell)

CHICAGO – Today during a labor meeting at Lane Tech High School, delegates
of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) gave its president the go-ahead to
issue a 10-day strike notice at her discretion. Contract negotiations
have been slow-moving and major proposals have yet to be resolved. CTU
has been in contract negotiations since November 2011.

However, CTU President Karen Lewis cautioned that no one should infer when
or if a 10-day notice will be issued by the Union or that an official work
stoppage has been called. “Although we have inched one step closer to
fulfilling the legal requirements before we can strike, we have made no
decision to do so at this time,” she said. “Union leaders will go back to
their schools to share the Board’s contract proposals with members and to
discuss next steps. But we want our members prepared.”

Lewis said in the meantime, teachers and other education personnel will
continue informational picketing at 240 schools this week. She said the
action is needed to inform parents and the public about what’s really at
stake and why a fair and equitable contract will help ensure students get
the education they deserve and educators’ rights are not trampled upon.

Teachers, paraprofessionals and school clinicians are insulted by CPS’
contract proposals which they believe are bad for students. “You cannot
have a first-class school system by putting students and educators last,”
Lewis said. “CPS has done a yeoman’s job of taking the joy out of
teaching-and-learning—26,000 of us are fighting to restore it.”

State law requires the Union to present a 10-day notice before a strike
can occur.

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