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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:58pm
Mon Apr 4, 2016

Illinois Religious Leaders Call For Peaceful Resolution In State Employee Contract Negotiations (UPDATED)

On the 48th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Illinois religious leaders urged Gov. Bruce Rauner and the legislature on Monday to resolve state employee contract negotiations in a "peaceful manner."

Monday marks 48 years since King was killed in Memphis, where he was supporting striking sanitation workers represented by AFSCME.

The Rev. Robert Jones of Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church on Chicago's South Side joined other faith leaders and state workers, represented by AFSCME Council 31 and SEIU* Healthcare Illinois, during a Monday morning press conference organized by Arise Chicago.

"We come together today because Dr. King's message of what government should be continues to resonate. We want Illinois to be a place where no one is left behind," Jones said at the Chicago Temple building. "We want Illinois to be a place where service providers are not demonized but cherished for their sacrifices that they make and respected for the professional services that they provide. This is the kind of Illinois that we want."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
8:22pm
Fri Apr 1, 2016

CTU, Allies Come Out In Force To Call For Increased School Funding (VIDEO)

Progress Illinois provides coverage of the massive rally and march staged Friday by the Chicago Teachers Union and its allies.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:14pm
Fri Apr 1, 2016

Chicago Parents, Teachers Rally Outside Shuttered West Side School

Roughly 20 CPS teachers and parents rallied this afternoon on the West Side outside the now-shuttered Robert Emmet Elementary School. Emmet, located in the Austin neighborhood near the corner of Central Avenue and Madison Street, was closed in 2013 as part of the massive round of 50 school closings.

CPS teacher Tammie Vinson, who worked at Emmet before it closed, is now a special education instructor at nearby Oscar DePriest Elementary School, also in Austin.

Vinson said teachers are hitting the picket lines to call for fair-share revenue solutions to pay for increased education and social service funding.

"The message, really, is tax the rich," she said. "Bring in what we need so that we can fully fund our schools, we can fully fund our communities. We're here now to show the disinvestment on the West Side ... Even when you get to the commercial areas of the West Side, that money doesn't stay in our community. The money that comes here goes right out ... We don't have a firm tax base, so the services that we need are not here."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
12:53pm
Thu Mar 31, 2016

O'Hare Baggage Handlers, Security Officers Strike Over 'Unfair Labor Practices' (VIDEO) (UPDATED)

Progress Illinois provides highlights from Thursday's contract workers' strike at O'Hare International Airport, which included security officers, baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, custodians and wheelchair attendants. The workers held a one-day strike against "unfair labor practices."

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
5:02pm
Thu Mar 24, 2016

Claypool, CTU Clash Over April 1 Walkout, CPS Offers Parents 'Contingency' Plan

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."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:29pm
Mon Mar 7, 2016

Lewis Reiterates Plan For CTU, CPS 'Showdown', Calls Rauner A 'Sociopath' Over Budget Battle

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."

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