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Chicago teachers strike for the classrooms students deserve

Posted on September 11, 2012
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Today, some 30,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) who were forced out on strike for the first time in 25 years on Monday, continue to seek a fair contract and fight for better schools, their students and respect.

See what the 26,000 teachers look like

The strike comes only after months of negotiations with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) failed to lead to an agreement that would give CTU members the tools they need to help all their students succeed. While talks had been productive in many areas the CTU expressed disappointment in the district's refusal to concede on issues involving compensation, job security,  resources  and the decision to strip teachers and paraprofessionals of an agreed-upon 4 percent raise.
 
"The Chicago Teachers Union is the AFT's Local No. 1. The AFT was founded in Chicago 100 years ago by teachers determined to have a voice in the quality of their workplace and the quality of the instruction provided to their students. They knew then, as CTU members know now, that collective action was the only way to improve their schools, their communities and their students' education. We know that the members of the CTU are prepared to stay on the picket lines. We also know they would rather be on the job, in the classroom educating their students," says American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten.

"Chicago's students, teachers and educational support staff â€" in fact, the entire city of Chicago -- deserve a school system that works for everyone.  That is what this strike is about," says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

There are currently some 30,000 teachers, paraprofessionals and school clinicians on strike, leaving 350,000 students in limbo. If you would like to help, click to contribute to the CTU Solidarity Fund.

Follow updates on the strike online or on Twitter by following the handle: @CTULocal1


Union Plus strike assistance: Protect your financial security with unique benefits for union members on strike and who participate in AFT+ or Union Plus programs. These "safety net" strike benefits include a $250 strike grant for eligible AFT+ or Union Plus Credit Card holders and unique protection for eligible AFT+ or Union Plus Mortgage holders.

The unique mortgage strike protection benefits include an interest-free loan during the first 30 days of the strike. Up to $1,000 of the loan is a grant that never needs to be repaid. For strikes lasting longer than 30 days, Union Plus will cover mortgage payments up to 6 months. Click here for qualifications and to apply.

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