The Chicago Teachers Union is pushing back against Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool's assertion that the planned April 1 teacher walkout is "illegal."
The teachers union's House of Delegates voted to approve the walkout Wednesday evening, solidifying plans for Chicago public school educators to hold a one-day strike next week. But Claypool called the walkout illegal at Wednesday's Chicago Board of Education meeting, hours before the union voted on the proposed action against unfair labor practices.
"In January we reached a tentative new labor contract with CTU leadership, so we believe that a final contract can be reached if both parties continue to negotiate in good faith," said Claypool. "But rather than focusing on reaching an agreement, it is disappointing to see CTU's leadership promoting this illegal strike that would take a critical day of instruction away from our students, to say nothing of encouraging teachers to break the law."
Chicago Public Schools principals will have to spend less as the cash-strapped district grapples with its pressing financial issues, including an upcoming $688 million pension payment, district officials said Wednesday.
Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis spoke Monday morning at a convention for the statewide Parent Mentor Program. She talked with reporters afterward about the status of contract negotiations with the district and the union's plans for an April 1 "showdown."
The Chicago Public Schools announced the issuance of three furlough days for employees during the remainder of the school year. The Chicago Teachers Union fired back, with officials saying the move "all but assures" a strike on April 1.