"More than 29,000 teachers and education professionals will not report to work today 9/10"
"After hours of intense negotiations, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) have failed to reach an agreement that will prevent the first teachers strike in 25 years."
"Pickets are expected to begin Monday at 675 schools and the Board of Education as early as 6:30 a.m. Teachers, paraprofessionals and school clinicians have been without a labor agreement since June of this year."
"Union leaders expressed disappointment in the District's refusal to concede on issues involving compensation, job security and resources for their students."
"We must do things differently in this city if we are to provide our students with the education they so rightfully deserve."
"We want job security." Thousands of teachers' jobs are at stake. "As we continue to bargain in good faith, we stand in solidarity with parents, clergy and community-based organizations who are advocating for smaller class sizes, a better school day and an elected school board. Class size matters."
"".(W)e do not intend to sign an agreement until (all key) matters are addressed."
"".(W)e are committed to staying at the table until a contract is in place. However, in the morning no CTU member will be inside our schools. We will walk the picket lines. We will talk to parents."
"We will talk to clergy. We will talk to the community. We will talk to anyone who will listen. We demand a fair contract today. We demand a fair contract now. And, until there is one in place that our members accept, we will on the line."
"We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters throughout the state and country who are currently bargaining for their own fair contracts. We stand with those who have already declared they too are prepared to strike, in the best interests of their students."
The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) represents 30,000 teachers and educational support staff. They serve more than 400,000 students and families. They reject Emanuel's diktats. They want equity and justice.
Last May, teachers and Occupy Chicago members staged school sit-ins. They picketed school board meetings. They chanted "fight" and "strike." Outside the downtown Auditorium Theater, they rallied for rights Emanuel wants destroyed.
Over 90% of union members endorsed striking. A new state law requires 75%. Legislators thought tough rules would prevent them. They guessed wrong.
Major issues are at stake. They include unfair reduced education funding, job security, draconian teacher evaluation standards, tying their pay to testing, weakened seniority rights, recall procedures for those laid off from school closings, equitable pay and benefits, class size, longer unpaid school days, inadequately heated and cooled classrooms, and key wrap around services.
They include psychologists, social workers, nurses, no library facilities in many schools, standardized testing, loss of experienced teachers, abandonment of arts, drama, music and language classes, and school privatization plans.