Chicago teachers continue strike as Mayor, CPS attempt to trample free speech, right to protest
CHICAGO – The Chicago Teachers Union released the following statement in response to a complaint filed by the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to force public school teachers and other school personnel back to work six days after they went on strike over poor working conditions and fair compensation.
“The Chicago Teachers Union is striking over mandatory subjects of bargaining such as compensation, evaluation procedures and the conditions within our classrooms. If this was an illegal strike the Chicago Public Schools would have sought injunctive relief on day one. The law provides that if a strike is illegal only the labor board has jurisdiction to stop a strike. CPS has never filed any claim with the labor board that our strike is illegal,” said CTU spokeswoman Stephanie Gadlin.
“CPS’ spur-of-the-moment decision to seek injunctive relief some six days later appears to be a vindictive act instigated by the mayor. This attempt to thwart our democratic process is consistent with Mayor Emanuel’s bullying behavior toward public school educators. As teachers, paraprofessionals and clinicians continue to fight to make our city’s public schools stronger, the mayor, CEO Brizard and members of the board want to trample our collective bargaining rights and hinder our freedom of speech and right to protest.”
The union is not on strike over matters governed exclusively by IELRA Section 4.5 and 12(b).