Reprinted from The New York Times by Mitch Smith and on October 31, 2019.
Thousands of Chicago’s public-school teachers will return to classrooms on Friday, ending a strike that left more than 300,000 students out of school for 11 days, the city’s mayor announced on Thursday.
A tentative contract deal between city officials and teachers in the nation’s third-largest school district resolved a tense standoff that had upended the lives of families all over the city and represented the biggest test to date of Chicago’s new mayor, Lori Lightfoot.
The walkout by the Chicago Teachers Union, which lasted longer than any schools strike in this city since 1987, was over an array of issues, beyond traditional questions over pay. The teachers called for more social workers, librarians and nurses in schools, smaller class sizes and protections for immigrant children. Over the last few weeks, teachers marched near schools and through the city’s downtown business district, as negotiations went on with city leaders.
In the end, the city said it had agreed to $35 million to reduce class sizes and hundreds of additional staff members by 2023. The city’s offer included a 16 percent salary increase over five years. …
‘When We Fight, We Win!’: After 11-Day Strike, Chicago Teachers Reach Deal with Mayor
Reprinted from Common Dreams by Jessica Corbett on October 31, 2019.
Chicago public school teachers and their supporters celebrated Thursday after reaching a deal with Mayor Lori Lightfoot that will enable educators to return to classrooms Friday and make up five days of missed pay from the 11-day strike.
The agreement came out of a two-hour meeting at City Hall between Lightfoot and Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) president Jesse Sharkey, according to The Chicago Sun-Times. It followed CTU’s governing body voting late Wednesday in favor of a tentative deal—contingent on makeup days—and Lightfoot saying Thursday morning that she wanted the union “to come to the table to compromise” on the matter. …