Chicago teachers go on strike amid no contract deal

Thousands of Chicago teachers vote to strike

Chicago teachers went on strike on Thursday after failing to reach a contract deal with the nation’s third-largest school district.

Both sides have been negotiating for months over salaries, class sizes and the number of support staff in schools, such as librarians and nurses.

The Chicago Teachers Union members held a banner that read, “On Strike,” as they announced the work stoppage at a Wednesday news conference that was streamed on the union’s Facebook page.

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Roughly 25,000 teachers are expected to participate in the work stoppage. The district preemptively canceled Thursday’s classes earlier Wednesday but plans to keep schools open and staffed with non-union employees.

Schools will remain open as a place for children to spend the day, and three meals will be served, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and other city officials said. But transportation and other activities, including sports practices and tutoring, are off.

The last major teachers’ strike in Chicago was in 2012.

Chicago educators say the district has shortchanged schools after years of budget cuts and they want all the promises in writing. The district says its offer of a 16% raise over five years is comprehensive and “historic.”

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