The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Jenice R. Robinson,

SEIU: Chicago's Public School Students Deserve a System That Works


Following is a statement by Mary Kay Henry, President of SEIU, in support of the Chicago Teachers Union's tough decision to strike. The working men and women of SEIU and all working families want stable schools, smaller class sizes, additional professional development, teacher training and fair, effective evaluations.

"SEIU stands with the more than 26,000 teachers, clinicians and paraprofessionals in Chicago who are fighting for a better school day, adequate resources for students, teacher training and fair compensation. Chicago's 400,000 public school students deserve a system that works. For these students to be successful, their teachers must have the resources they need to be effective.

"Public education is a key ingredient to ensuring we are a nation that lives by our pledge of liberty and justice for all. Most of the nation's working families count on public schools to ensure their children have a shot at realizing their dreams. No one knows this better than public school employees whom we entrust every day with this important job. We will continue support the teachers standing up to make sure our children receive the tools they need to succeed and be productive adults."

With 2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers--not just corporations and CEOs--benefit from today's global economy.