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  • 5PM TODAY, Thursday, 2/14: Rev. Jesse Jackson stands with CTU strikers
    CTU HQ, 1901 W. Carroll Ave., Chicago

Teachers and paras have been on picket lines since Feb. 5 in longest strike against charter operator in U.S. history, while management continues to refuse to return funds to school communities.

CHICAGO—Rev. Jesse Jackson will join more than two dozen members of the CTU’s bargaining team, along with fellow strikers, at 5PM today to lend his support to their struggle for a fair contract that supports living wages and critical frontline services for their four schools’ overwhelmingly low-income students of color.

Jackson is speaking out publicly on the same day that the City Council’s Latino Caucus issued a letter to CICS CEO Elizabeth Shaw calling on her to settle the strike and ensure that classrooms are properly resourced.

Charter operators collect more than $600 more per student than district schools from public coffers, yet CICS insists that it will raise pay for low-wage educators only in exchange for cuts to social workers and counselors, larger class sizes and gutted parental leave for paraprofessionals—some of whom earn less than $30,000 per year.

Educators continue to refuse to sacrifice student services in a ‘trade’ for increased pay. Bargaining will resume Thursday, in an effort to reach an agreement in what is now the longest strike against a charter operator in U.S. history.

The Chicago Teachers Union represents more than 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at www.ctulocal1.org.