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Chicago Teachers Union Votes to Authorize Strike; Earliest Strike Date May 2016

Chicago Teachers Union Votes to Authorize Strike; Earliest Strike Date May 2016

The Chicago Teachers Union has voted to authorize a strike after 88 percent of its teachers voted in favor, but it will be a while before Chicago’s teachers will be staying home.

According to ABC 7, the earliest date for a strike would be in May 2016 should the Illinois Educational Relations agrees with CTU to begin the required fact-finding phase in January.

If the union follows through with the strike, it will be the second strike for the nation’s fourth largest school system in just three years, further emphasizing the severe financial issues the district is facing.

The strike is in response to thousands of possible teacher layoffs after Christmas due to a $1.1 billion structural deficit and a potential revoking of millions of dollars in teacher benefits, Yahoo News said.

School officials have gone on the record saying that they are optimistic further contract talks and negotiations can resolve the issue before it results in a strike.

After all, the strike would mean just another obstacle in the controversy-laden tenure of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is placing blame on the state government for using a shoddy funding formula.

"Emanuel spokeswoman Lauren Huffman [says]] that the mayor finds cuts ‘unconscionable' and hopes that the union will join the city and school system in demanding a fair funding system,” said Yahoo News.

Representatives for Chicago Public Schools have also publicly hoped that the CTU will reconsider a strike before it happens.

“... rather than strike, we ask that the Chicago Teachers Union join us to fight for our shared goal of equal education funding from Springfield for Chicago’s children,” said Forrest Claypool, the chief executive of Chicago Public School in a statement.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

12/15/2015

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