Chicago Teachers Union Sets Oct. 17 Strike Date

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) – Chicago Teachers Union leaders have set a strike date for Oct. 17, unless the CTU and Chicago Public Schools can agree on a new contract.

The news came Wednesday night. CTU President Jesse Sharkey said negotiations will continue with CPS and the Lightfoot administration.

Last week, a majority of union members authorized leaders to call a strike.

Oct. 17.

— ChicagoTeachersUnion (@CTULocal1) October 3, 2019

Among the union's demands is a 15% total raise over a three-year contract, while CPS has offered 16% over five years.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has urged teachers to accept the latest offer from CPS, which she said provides for salary increases and addresses a union sticking point — some guarantees for librarians, counselors and nurses at schools.

A strike would affect 360,000 school children. 

In a video posted to social media after the CTU's announcement, CPS CEO Janice Jackson and Lightfoot said school buildings will remain open during the day if teachers walk off the job. Students will be welcome and will be offered a warm meal, Jackson said.

After-school activities will be canceled under a strike scenario, Jackson said.

Mayor Lightfoot also said that all CPS buildings would remain open, though the city still plans to forge ahead and reach an agreement.

"We will continue bargaining at an aggressive pace to reach a deal that is fair to our teachers and staff, supports the record-setting progress we've made, and promotes the best interests of Chicago families, so that we do not have to open our school buildings without the educators and staff members who are so crucial to our district’s success," Lightfoot said.

School buildings will be open on their normal bell schedule to ensure students have a safe place to go should a work stoppage occur on 10/17. Read our contingency plan here:

— ChicagoPublicSchools (@ChiPubSchools) October 2, 2019

Teachers last went on strike — for seven school days -- in 2012 during the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.