CHICAGO (AP) – One day after the start of a new school year for about 350,000 students, the Chicago Teachers Union set a date for a strike authorization vote.
The union’s House of Delegates on Wednesday decided public school teachers will vote Sept. 24 to Sept. 26 on whether to walk off the job.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said last week the city would go along with an independent fact-finder’s recommendation that teachers receive 16% raises over a five-year contract. The union rejected the recommendation and is demanding s 15% raise over three years.
CTU President Jesse Sharkey in a statement asserted the union doesn’t want to strike. However, he noted students returned to classrooms “staffed by substitute teachers” or “over-sized classes.”
Sharkey said striking is justified if that is what it takes to win “educational justice” for public school students.
Chicago teachers last went on strike in 2012.