Chicago teacher union files unfair labor grievance - FOX 32 News Chicago

Chicago Teachers Union files unfair labor grievance

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Teachers armed with strike kits, filled with posters, shirts, and supplies left a Wednesday night meeting.

Those are the tools they will be using come Monday should the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools fail to reach an agreement.

For Amy Bray it's a scary time to be a teacher.

"We were kind of led to believe that it would only last a couple of days but then I was chatting with somebody else today and they said it could last a couple of weeks so it's scary for a young teacher, a young, single teacher who's got student loans and car payment and rent to try to get prepared, "says Bray.

Teacher, basketball coach and CTU delegate Michael Bochner says not much has changed and he's preparing his colleagues to strike.

"There will be a strike, there will be picket lines, there won't be school for the kids," Bochner commented.

Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teachers Union, had some "reasonable news."

"The board has moved off of merit pay but we have some still problems that we are very concerned about," Lewis said.

Five days before the looming strike, CTU filed unfair labor practice charges against CPS accusing the district of intimidating teachers who engaged in informational picketing.

The union also accuses CPS of eliminating teachers' pay increases based on education level and experience.

"The legal effect of an unfair labor practice strike is that the employer is prohibited from hiring permanent replacements to replace those strikers, "attorney Robert Cloch mentioned.

In a statement, CPS says, "We are very disappointed that the Chicago Teachers Union has filed unnecessary litigation at a time when our focus should be on negotiations and reaching a fair agreement in order to avoid any disruptions to our kids' school year. It's time to put antics aside and negotiate in good faith on behalf of our students so they can stay in classrooms with their teachers where they belong."

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