Over 25,000 Chicago teacher will walk off the job Monday morning and start picketing at their school sites. (File photo)
Teachers in the major US city of Chicago are planning to go on strike following the failure of their negotiations with city officials.
Over 25,000 Chicago teachers will walk off their jobs Monday morning and start picketing at their school sites.
The move comes after talks between Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) failed on Sunday to resolve concerns over the teachers’ pay and job security.
“We have failed to reach an agreement that will prevent a labor strike,” said CTU President Karen Lewis. “No CTU members will be inside of our schools Monday.”
Lewis added that the two sides are close on teacher compensation, but the union has serious reservations on the cost of health benefits, job security and the teacher evaluation system, among other things.
US President Barack Obama and his Democratic Party continue to depend on labor unions to help them win the vote; however, the teacher strike in Obama’s hometown is certain to affect the votes.
In the clash over the contract between the CTU and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, US President Barack Obama’s former White House chief of staff and a major fundraiser for his presidential campaign, the two sides have forcefully campaigned for public opinion as the city braces for the first teacher strike in 25 years.
The strike concludes months of fiery rhetoric between Lewis and Mayor Emanuel and his hand-picked school board.
Emanuel, who also holds a dual Israeli citizenship and is considered as an aggressive and influential fundraiser in the Democratic Party, has sought a longer school day, a longer school year and a new system for evaluating city teachers.