CHICAGO, December 7, 2018—Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey issued a statement today in response to news that charter operator UNO/Acero has filed unfair labor practice charges against the union, as rank and file CTU members end the first week of their historic strike:
“Let’s be clear. We are winning. CEO Rich Rodriguez is panicking. They are losing. This is what the boss does when pressure mounts.”
“UNO/Acero claims that we threatened to call ICE on an immigrant parent. This allegedly occurred while we’re bargaining for sanctuary schools to protect immigrant children and parents. That charge is not just untrue, it’s ridiculous.
“They also filed a charge that we are illegally striking to protect immigrant students and get sanctuary schools. Yet they admit in their filing that they’ve agreed to our demands for sanctuary schools, culturally relevant curriculum and restorative justice only BECAUSE we struck. I will say this: It’s not that often that the boss actually directly admits that our union’s strike has won some of our most publicly supported demands.
“Acero also filed a claim that the NLRB does not have jurisdiction and that the IELRB should declare the strike illegal. Yet they also filed charges against us at the NLRB. Throwing everything against the wall—even in arenas that you claim are illegitimate—only makes Acero look foolish at the bargaining table and in the court of public opinion. These charges are nothing but a press stunt.
“There is nothing illegal about our strike over wages, benefits, class size and other conditions that are mandatory subjects of bargaining under the federal labor law that governs this contract. Acero CEO Richard Rodriguez is a political hack trying to build his personal empire and the size of his wallet at the expense of our students, and there is no level to which he will not sink to hold onto his power and privilege at our students’ expense. A growing groundswell of parents, neighborhood residents and elected officials are rejecting his spectacular greed, just as the courts will reject this desperate move to hoard power and public dollars at the expense the children in these schools and the educators upon whom they rely.
“This is a predictable ploy, built on a tissue of lies. Our bargaining team is at the table now and intends to work through the weekend to win a fair agreement.”