Education

Chicago Teachers Union Threatens One-Day Strike

REUTERS/John Gress

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Ted Goodman Reporter

The Chicago Teachers union (CTU) is threatening to strike for one day May 1 to bring attention to what it described as an “acute crisis” facing city schools.

“If the board goes ahead with the threat of canceling three weeks of school, we would view their action as a massive violation of our contract,” union president Karen Lewis told reporters in a recent press gaggle.

The CTU’s House of Delegates agreed to consider setting a vote April 5 to decide whether or not to stage a one-day strike. The latest announcement comes just months after Chicago Public Schools (CPA) and the union concluded contract re-negotiations.

The two sides were locked in a bitter contractual dispute, which loomed large over the school district and students going into the fall. (RELATED: Chicago Teachers Union Sets October 11 Strike Date)

“We are voting tonight to open the discussion period in our union, in which we talk about ways to respond to the crisis in CPS,” Lewis said during the Wednesday meeting of the union’s delegates.

The union staged a one-day strikeApril 1, 2016 during tenuous negotiations with the school district. The two sides came to an agreement in October, avoiding a third strike under Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s tenure. (RELATED: Mayor Rahm Emanuel Dodges Third Teachers Strike Under His Tenure)

Nearly 400,000 students are taught by close to 22,000 teachers at Chicago’s 660 Public Schools, according tointernal figures. It is the third largest school district in the country, behind New York City and Los Angeles.

On May 1, 1886, thousands of workers in Chicago began to demonstrate at Haymarket Square in Chicago to protest for an 8-hour work day. While accounts differ, it is widely accepted that after the police arrived a bomb exploded, killing seven officers. The police responded by opening fire and killing numerous workers. The event remains known as the Haymarket Affair.

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