CTU files 10-day strike notice - FOX 32 News Chicago

Chicago Teachers Union files 10-day strike notice

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Chicago Teachers Union filed a 10 day notice to strike with the Illinois Education Labor Relations board on Wednesday.

While teachers say they will continue negotiations with the board, they could strike as early as a week from Monday.

The teachers rallied with supportive parents and community members downtown Wednesday night.

The Chicago Teachers Union wants what it considers fair wages and benefits—two key issues they say haven't even been discussed with the Chicago Public Schools yet.

"We have not discussed wages," said CTU President Karen Lewis. "We are here and say maybe this will get to that point."

The teachers have not decided on a strike date, but will meet Thursday to discuss. This doesn't mean talks are over, yet.

"We will remain at the table, we will remain at the table for as long as it takes."

The CTU says so far it's agreed with Chicago Public schools about textbooks and supplies being available by the first day of school, but not about their wages and benefits.

"The intent to file is not done just because you're at or in impasse, alright. We just need to get this process continuing to move or some people will drag their feet forever."

Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean Claude Brizard said in a statement that "everyone knows that a strike would only hurt our kids. They can't afford to be removed from the classroom just as they're making progress with the new full school day."

Parents who support the teachers turned out to a rally tonight at the Chicago Temple and are already making strike plans.

"I work from home so that helps, but I know the YMCA has different options for child care throughout the day," said parent Blaise Sewell.

"I'd probably be there on the picket line with my kids supporting the teachers," commented parent Guadalupe Ramirez. "I'm not a huge fan of it going really long and it taking away from their vacation time, but if CPS isn't going to play fair I'm all for it."

The union and Chicago Public Schools have been negotiating since November of last year on a new deal.

CTU President Karen Lewis says they will get a contract and it will come the easy way or the hard way.

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