The Chicago Teachers Union is set to hold a three-day strike authorization vote next week from December 9 through December 11.
The union has 27,000 active members. Under state law, CTU would need authorization from 75 percent of them in order to strike. A CTU spokeswoman said a strike, if approved, could occur as early as March. If a walk out happens, it would be the second strike staged by CTU since 2012.
"Our ability to withhold our labor is our power," CTU President Karen Lewis said in a statement Thursday. "Teachers, paraprofessionals and clinicians have told us they are tired of the contract stalemate facilitated by the Board. CPS [Chicago Public Schools] has rejected all of our proposals, many of which have no cost associated with them. This is unacceptable and time to show them we are serious about fighting for our profession and for the students in our classroom."
The union is still in negotiations with CPS over a new labor contract. CTU's contract with the school district expired on June 30.
Meanwhile, CTU's House of Delegates also passed a resolution this week in support of an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council, which would investigate and prosecute claims of crimes by Chicago police.
"The CTU is not anti-police and never has been, contrary to the misinformation that's being put out there by the leader of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)," CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey said in a statement. "We were against what happened to Laquan McDonald and what has happened in the wake of the release of that horrific video. We are opposed to the cover-up that is going on. That is why we've joined people across this city and nation for a federal investigation into who knew what and when. Why did it take 400 days for this officer to be charged with murder? There are too many questions but all of them illustrate why the CTU supports a democratically elected Civilian Police Accountability Council. We have no confidence in the mayor's hand-picked blue ribbon commission."
An ongoing campaign for an ordinance to create an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council has been spearheaded by the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, which held a press conference at City Hall Friday about the proposal. Check back with Progress Illinois for our coverage of the event.