On Monday night, the Chicago Teacher’s Union sent out a press release saying that all negotiations at the bargaining table will halt, as there was a dramatic shift in collaboration from CPS negotiators and Lightfoot sent out a letter to press saying “there is simply no more money.”
This runs contrary to CTU’s side of things, in fact CTU has been reporting multiple successes in negotiations with CPS since the beginning of the strike. This move by the mayor has sent negotiations back to day one.
“To reiterate, after only two days of striking, the teams achieved tentative agreements on staffing to support homeless students, on staffing for Pre-Kindergarten classrooms and naps for those young students, on letting counselors work with children instead of random assignments like substitute teaching,” Jesse Sharkey, CTU President said.
“Of course we know that the CPS budget has more than $1 billion of additional funds from the state of Illinois to address these school needs. Because of the mayor’s actions, the strike is heading into a new phase that will require a new set of tactics to get bargaining moving again.”
CPS’ offer currently doesn’t address oversized classes at the high school level at all, and overall less than 20 percent of classrooms would be addressed. In response, CTU’s bargaining team will not return to negotiations and will instead join the picket line.
“The mayor has embarked on a dangerous path,” Sharkey said. “Our union will stand strong for the resources, the protections and the respect that our students and members deserve.”
The strike continues today and there are a few larger actions planned for Wednesday morning in the city, of which the union plans to release how to get involved later in the day. You can keep posted at the CTU website.
Daniel Johanson (he/him) is a journalist and digital media specialist living in Chicago, Illinois. He serves as Editor-in-Chief at Scapi and in that capacity manages all things content, including writing and editing articles and producing digital content. His most recent work includes the docuseries Heart of a Nation: Tracking Socialism in the Midwest and co-hosting the podcast Scapi Radio. He spends his free time with cats.