The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Ninety-four Percent of CTU Members Vote to Authorize Strike for Schools Chicago's Students Deserve

Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates governing body will set strike date at Wednesday, Oct. 2, meeting.


The Chicago Teachers Union this evening released totals of the Sept. 24-26 strike authorization vote. The CTU Rules and Election Committee reported that as of 9:30 p.m., the Union passed the 75 percent threshold of members voting "yes." Ninety-four percent of teachers, clinicians, PSRPs, nurses, librarians voted to authorize a strike to win the schools Chicago's students deserve.

The vote stands as a mandate from CTU members for Chicago Public Schools to uphold promises of equity and educational justice made by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, and that those promises must be in writing in an enforceable contract. This is the only way to hold the district to its word after decades of austerity, budget cuts, understaffing, school closings and privatization.

The CTU House of Delegates will convene for its next scheduled meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 2, to set a strike date. The earliest the Union could strike is Oct. 7. The work stoppage would be the third since 2011 and the first under Lightfoot.

"Our school communities are desperately short of nurses, social workers, psychologists, counselors and other support staff, even as our students struggle with high levels of trauma driven by poverty and neighborhood violence," CTU President Jesse Sharkey said. "This vote represents a true mandate for change."

"And all of our members vote, not just 30 percent of the electorate," Sharkey said.

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Bargaining Update

Rank-and-file members met with the district today to negotiate over early childhood and bilingual education provisions. They were sorely disappointed at the non-engagement from the other side. Watch their explanation in this video:

An affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT), CTU is the third largest teachers local in the country and the largest local union in Illinois.