Saturday, April 2, 2016
Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis
The Chicago Teachers Union has decided to walk off the job for one day on April 1, an effort meant to draw attention to ongoing contract negotiations and city schools’ dire financial outlook.
The one-day strike means that the city’s 400,000 students will miss class on two consecutive Fridays: They were already scheduled to be out of class on March 25, when city schools close for the first of three furlough days meant to save the cash-strapped district approximately $30 million.
The nation’s third-largest school district faces a $1.1 billion structural deficit, largely due to growing pension payments, and its financial troubles have given Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) an opening to push for state takeover. Chicago Public Schools officials called the union’s walkout illegal, a breach of labor rules that they say prohibit teachers from striking any earlier than mid-May.