Monday morning, they spread across over 600 schools. More than 20,000 teachers were joined by other school employees, parents and students.
School Board president David Vitale and CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard never negotiated in good faith. In fact, they weren't directly involved. A highly paid private law firm represented them.
CEO Brizard never appeared at bargaining sessions. His absence showed contempt for teacher rights. He and Vitale reflect top-down Emanuel-imposed diktat authority.
Claims about too little money in the system don't wash. They reflect efforts to divert city resources for corporate interests at the expense of vital services. Chicago schools, teachers, and support staff have been hit hard. They and other city workers bear the brunt of draconian budget cuts.
Negotiations began last November. Dozens of sessions were held. No agreement was reached. At 10PM Sunday, Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) president Karen Lewis issued a formal statement . In part it said:
"CPS (Chicago Public Schools) FAILS TO NEGOTIATE FAIR CONTRACT TO PREVENT FIRST LABOR STRIKE IN 25 YEARS"
"More than 29,000 teachers and education professionals will not report to work today 9/10"- Advertisement -
"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."