First Strike in 25 years.
Late into Sunday and early Monday morning parents were still wondering whether or not their children would be attending a normal day of school. However, this was not the case this morning.
On any normal Monday morning, parents would be dropping their children off at school, and starting their day of work or household activities. The Chicago Public School teachers made a different choice this morning, they chose to put themselves first over the children that they are supposed to be teaching and educating these children to prepare them for their futures. Instead they chose to march in picket lines early this morning. The head of the Chicago Teachers Union Karen Lewis and the School Board President David Vitale were supposed to meet this Monday and attempt to solve this issue so that there would be no teachers striking and the children would be able to attend classes thus allowing for school to resume as normal, according to the Suntimes.com.
However after negotiations broke and led to a strike, which has not occurred for more than 25 years. Even as the strike was taking place, the negotiations are still continuing. The two major issues that are preventing the children from attending their normal day of school are, the re-hiring of teachers that were laid off from school shut downs and a new teacher evaluation process that is based on student test scores. Rahm Emanuel said that this is he is “disappointed” and that this latest deal was ” very respectful of our teachers and is right by our children.” He went on to say that, “This is totally unnecessary. It’s avoidable and our kids don’t deserve this…This is a strike of choice, its down to two issues, finish it.”
These two issues were reported by the Suntimes.com
“Negotiations have been intense but productive, however we have failed to reach an agreement that will prevent a labor strike,” Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said at a dramatic 10 p.m. Sunday press conference. “Real school will not be open [Monday]. … No CTU member will be inside our schools.
“Please seek alternative care for your children.”
Part of the earlier package that was offered to the teachers union was increased pay, that would increase the average teachers pay by 16 percent over the next four years, which could not be changed even if there was a lack of funding. Even with all of this guaranteed pay increases, the Chicago Teachers Union(CTU) still chose to strike over the two previous issues. Lewis, President of CTU, quoted by the Suntimes.com said;
“We do not intend to sign an agreement until all matters of our contract are addressed,” Lewis said. “We are committed to staying at the table.”
While the situation is still developing, parents are split over how this will change the landscape of their children’s education and the future of the school systems in their area.