Chicago Teachers to Strike; 400K Students Affected

The Chicago Teacher's Union reached a unanimous vote Thursday to strike on Sept.10 in protest of wages and job security, a move that could affect 400,000 students. "We're tired of being bullied, belittled and betrayed," said CTU president Karen Lewis. "We have done everything asked of us, yet we continue to be vilified and treated with disrespect." Union members have agreed to head to the picket lines until a deal can be reached with the city's schools. During this time, negotiations will still continue until a contract is drawn up that resolves all of the union's concerns. Chicago Public Schools officials have been making preparations in the event of a strike. CPS chief executive Jean-Claude Brizard said that in the event of a strike CPS will partner with local faith organizations and other non-profits to keep the students engaged. As part of a precautionary strategy, the schools will be staffed with non-CTU employees, the grounds of the school will be open to provide activities, and between 70 to 80 Chicago Park District summer camps will be extended. "We have an obligation and responsibility to our children and their parents to make sure they are not left behind in the event of a strike,” Brizard said.

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