Chicago Public Schools cancels classes for 361,000 students over teachers strike
Chicago Public Schools has canceled classes for some 361,000 students on Thursday after the teachers’ union said it will push ahead with a strike over stalled labor negotiations.
The union is calling for greater resources for teaching staff, including higher pay and more nurses in schools, as well as support from social workers and school librarians.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said city negotiators had “bent over backwards” to meet the union’s concerns and needs in a way that “meets our shared vision” for schools, but that despite the efforts, the union is going ahead with its strike.
Lightfoot claimed that Chicago Public Schools has agreed to meet the initial key concerns of the union concerning class size and staffing, but claimed that “behind the scenes, they’ve continued to bring up additional bargaining issues that they say must be resolved.”
CPS-CTU NEGOTIATIONS: Mayor Lightfoot and CPS CEO Dr. Jackson holding a brief media availability on CPS/CTU negotiations. https://t.co/3D9X8cdTnp— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) October 16, 2019
Chicago Public Schools is the third-largest school system in the United States.
In a series of tweets responding to Lightfoot's comments, the union accused the mayor of reneging on campaign promises and said the blame for the “failure of these negotiations rests at the feet of Mayor Lori Lightfoot.” It also reiterated its calls for additional resources, saying “the district can afford our demands.”
CPS has $1 billion in new revenue from the state. The district can afford our demands—demands to improve our quality of life at work and our school communities.— ChicagoTeachersUnion (@CTULocal1) October 16, 2019
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