CFL News
June 06, 2012

Teachers begin exercising their rights with strike authorization vote

Members of the Chicago Teachers Union began voting Wednesday morning to authorize the union to strike later this year if contract negotiations fail to reach a fair deal

By Chicago Teachers Union

(CTU) -- In a move to acquire more leverage at the bargaining table, members of Chicago Teachers Union cast ballots to give its Union leadership the power to call work stoppage should contract negotiations reach an impasse in coming weeks. The last teachers strike was in 1987 and it lasted 19 days.

CTU President Karen GJ Lewis said, “We want the mayor and Board to know we have the support of all of our members at the bargaining table and we will use the full weight of our power to ensure we get a strong contract for our members and our students,” she said. “Strikes aren’t good for anyone and if the Board is wise it will work with us to do what’s in the best interest of our public schools.” Nearly 10,000 CTU members rallied and marched on the Board of Education on May 23rd, in a bold display of union solidarity.

President Lewis and other officers visited their former school campuses where they cast their ballot for strike authorization.  Union leaders gave the public a rare glimpse by allowing reporters to observe them casting their affirmative vote for strike authorization early this morning.