Bargaining Update: Sea of Red and Purple Drowns Out Mayor’s Austerity Talk; Leads to progress on “not sexy” aspects of the contract
More than 30,000 members of CTU, SEIU Local 73 and our allies and supporters rallied downtown. In bargaining, we’ve now achieved 80 tentative agreements with the Board over issues that are important to our members, but involve minutiae of teaching that only particular members will appreciate in relation to their own work lives.
As Mayor Lightfoot’s ultimatum halts actual bargaining, today coaches from around the city testified to the CPS bargaining team about the lack of equity and investment in sports citywide. Their moving narratives about students not having transportation, resources, uniforms or coaching staffs to put them on a fair footing with teams in the suburbs moved our bargaining team.
After two days of striking, our bargaining team was beginning to see glimmers of progress on issues that matter to our members. Today, on day three, that progress stopped dead. It was clear from the mayor’s letter to the press demanding members go back to work without a contract and from the sudden atmosphere of stonewalling from the CPS team, that the mayor had pulled the plug on negotiations.
The Chicago Teachers Union invited city resident and skilled international negotiator the Rev. Jesse. L Jackson to negotiate a settlement on Monday, October 21. Rev. Jackson, president of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, attended a bargaining session recently and spoke with both union and district officials about the lowering of class size, providing more wraparound services and urged a swift settlement.