Teachers in Chicago were poised to walk off the job Sept. 10, in what would be the first teachers’ strike in the city in 25 years.
The union filed a strike-authorization notice Aug. 29. Despite continuing negotiations between the school district and the Chicago Teachers Union, union delegates declined at a meeting last week to push back the date for a walkout.
Relations between the district and the union have been strained over budgetary matters; policy issues, including class size and teacher evaluation; and the cancellation last year of a 4 percent salary increase.
The CTU has pressed for more arts programming, smaller classes, more counselors and paraprofessionals, and “recall rights” for teachers who are laid off, a policy that was eliminated in the mid-1990s. The union also opposes efforts to tie teacher evaluations in part to students’ standardized-test scores.
The two sides agreed earlier in the summer on a longer school day, which will include the hiring of nearly 500 teachers.
At 403,000 students, the Chicago district is the nation’s third largest. The city was planning to keep 144 of its 681 schools open and to provide enrichment activities for students should a strike occur.
A version of this article appeared in the September 12, 2012 edition of Education Week as Chicago Teachers Poised to Strike