WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- The teachers’ strike in Chicago continued for the eighth day on Monday after failed talks with the public school district.
- The Chicago Teachers Union protested against issues regarding class sizes, support staff, and pay.
- The union rejected the school system’s offer over the weekend, claiming that the school failed to address most of its demands.
The teachers’ strike in Chicago continued for the eighth day on Monday after failed talks with the public school district.
The teachers’ union, which represents the city’s 25,000 teachers, started the strike on Oct. 17. They have been working without a contract since July 1.
Each side blamed the other over the weekend’s failed talks regarding class sizes, support staff, and pay.
In a joint news conference on Sunday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Public Schools’ chief executive, Janice Jackson, slammed the Chicago Teachers Union for rejecting the school system’s offer — which included “a big, 16 percent raise for teachers.”
Lightfoot stated, “We are enormously disappointed that CTU cannot simply take yes for an answer. At every turn we’ve met CTU’s demands.”
But the union claimed that the school failed to address several of its demands: reining in “classroom overcrowding,” more support staff, a three-year contract instead of the current five years, and more paid prep-time for elementary school teachers.
The union also stated that the school’s offer involved some “bad mayoral math.”
Officials had hoped for children to be back in school after the weekend. CTU President Jesse Sharkey said he was “guardedly optimistic” that the talks would move towards a settlement.
But the teachers rallied again on Friday at Chicago’s Buckingham Fountain.
The Chicago strike is the latest in a wave of teacher strikes across the United States, which called for similar demands. The state is the country’s third-largest school district.
According to Lightfoot, the district could not afford the union’s full demands, which would approximately cost an extra $2.4 billion each year for an increase of more than 30%.