Chicago Teachers Strike

After ultimatum and threats of job loss

Union ends Palatine, Illinois support staff strike without contract

By George Marlowe, 4 November 2017

After the school district of Palatine, Illinois issued an ultimatum to striking support staff, their union sent them back to work without a contract.

Court orders striking staff at suburban Chicago school district back to work

By Kristina Betinis, 19 October 2017

The court and the school district are running roughshod over the democratic rights of school workers who are fighting for decent wages and benefits.

Chicago Teachers Union calls off one-day strike vote

By Kristina Betinis, 11 April 2017

Just hours before a scheduled vote on a one-day walkout union head Karen Lewis announced, “No, we’re not striking.”

Chicago teachers to vote on one-day strike

By Kristina Betinis, 30 March 2017

As part of the latest round of cuts, the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel has threatened to end the school year nearly three weeks early.

Nearly one-third of Chicago teachers reject CTU concessions deal

By Alexander Fangmann, 3 November 2016

The Chicago Teachers Union on Tuesday announced the ratification of a concessions-laden contract.

Vote by Chicago teachers on concessions contract begins today, after postponement

By Kristina Betinis, 31 October 2016

The decision by the Chicago Teachers Union to delay the vote by two days, supposedly to allow teachers to read the contract, is an indication that there is widespread opposition.

Mobilize the working class to defend public education

Vote “no” on the CPS-CTU concessions contract!

By the Socialist Equality Party, 26 October 2016

The agreement, fraudulently presented as a “fair deal” by the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Public Schools system, is a further attack on teachers and public education.

Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates approves concessions contract

By our reporter, 20 October 2016

Both district officials and union leaders are hailing as a success a contract that will escalate the attack on teachers, while paving the way for the closure of more public schools.

Chicago charter school union announces contract deal

By Jeff Lusanne, 20 October 2016

The American Federation of Teachers has helped craft a new contract for charter school teachers in Chicago that mirrors a concessions contract accepted for public school teachers.

The International Socialist Organization campaigns for layoffs, school closures in Chicago

By Eric London, 19 October 2016

A tentative agreement announced by the Chicago Teachers Union, and praised by the ISO, would mark a new stage in the attack on teachers and on public education.

The International Socialist Organization and the Chicago teachers contract betrayal

By Marcus Day, 13 October 2016

The ISO-led Chicago Teachers Union is doing everything in its power to force its second concessions contract in four years onto angry and defiant teachers.

Chicago teachers denounce contract sellout

By Kristina Betinis, 12 October 2016

As teachers angrily denounce concessions in the CTU’s tentative agreement, the International Socialist Organization is painting the settlement as a victory against Rahm Emanuel.

Chicago Teachers Union announces concessions agreement to avert strike

By Kristina Betinis, 11 October 2016

The agreement was announced before midnight in order to prevent a strike and risk a rebellion by teachers against the Democratic Party ahead of the presidential elections.

As union heads scramble to settle

Chicago teachers set strike date

By Kristina Betinis, 30 September 2016

After nearly a year and a half without a contract, the teachers union has set a walkout date for October 11.

Chicago Public Schools announces 1,000 layoffs, threatens new cuts

By Kristina Betinis, 11 August 2016

In pressing teachers for major concessions, Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel is relying on the Chicago Teachers Union to suppress opposition.

SEP presidential candidate Jerry White speaks to workers in Chicago, Illinois

By our reporters, 18 June 2016

White took the SEP presidential campaign to Chicago, speaking to workers at a Ford Motor Company plant and in downtown Chicago at a transit station.

Chicago Teachers Union holds one-day “strike” to channel opposition behind Democrats

By Kristina Betinis and George Marlowe, 2 April 2016

In the face of enormous opposition among teachers to the attacks on public education, the CTU called a phony one-day “strike” to politically disarm teachers by promoting illusions in the Democratic Party.

CTU calls phony one-day “strike” to back Democrats

By Kristina Betinis, 1 April 2016

The most critical issue facing teachers is developing an independent struggle against the CTU-Democratic Party alliance

Illinois public higher education hit with more cuts

By George Gallanis, 29 March 2016

As Illinois continues to operate without a budget, both Democrats and Republicans are exploiting the impasse to impose deep cuts on public higher education.

The conspiracy against the Chicago teachers

By Kristina Betinis, 12 March 2016

The struggle to defend public education brings teachers into conflict with both big business parties, the corporations they represent and the unions that push through their policies.

Detroit and Chicago teachers fight to defend public education

By Jerry White, 8 February 2016

The struggle to defend the right to education poses political questions that are critical for the entire working class.

Mobilize the working class to defend public education in Chicago!

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party

4 February 2016

A real struggle to defend public education must begin with an understanding that teachers face in the Chicago Teachers Union an enemy no less bitter than Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Chicago teachers face mass layoffs after bargaining committee rejects CTU-backed deal

By Kristina Betinis, 3 February 2016

The Chicago Public Schools announced $100 million in budget cuts just one day after the rejection of an agreement backed by the teachers’ union.

Chicago teachers union leader pledges to enforce austerity

By Kristina Betinis, 25 January 2016

Negotiations between the Chicago Teachers Union and the administration of Rahm Emanuel continue amid growing resistance to cuts, including from Detroit teachers.

Illinois Republicans announce Chicago bankruptcy legislation

By Kristina Betinis, 21 January 2016

Plans to allow the city of Chicago and its school system to declare bankruptcy are part of an escalating attack on public education and all the rights of the working class.

Chicago teachers vote to authorize strike action

By Kristina Betinis, 15 December 2015

While teachers have repeatedly demonstrated their determination to fight, the Chicago Teachers Union is opposed to any struggle against the Democratic Party.

Thousands of Chicago teachers rally to defend jobs

By a WSWS reporting team, 25 November 2015

Teachers who have been working without a contract for five months were offered no way forward at Monday’s rally by the Chicago Teachers Union.

Chicago Teachers Union holds mock strike vote as it prepares to back massive cuts

By Kristina Betinis, 14 November 2015

The teachers union has held so-called practice strike votes while working closely with the school board and the city to impose historic attacks on working conditions and benefits.

Colleges starved of funds as Illinois Democrats and Republicans orchestrate budget impasse

By Alexander Fangmann, 6 November 2015

As colleges and universities lay off workers and cut programs, Democrats and Republicans are conspiring on plans that could even involve suspending state support for the year.

Ahead of plans for 5,000 layoffs

ISO-led Chicago Teachers Union aligns itself with mayor against teachers

By Kristina Betinis, 27 October 2015

CTU Vice President and ISO member Jesse Sharkey’s statements and actions in relation to the contract talks are indistinguishable from those of any garden variety union sellout artist.

Suburban Chicago teachers conduct seven-day strike

By Christopher Davion, 21 October 2015

McHenry High School District 156 teachers returned to work October 13 after being pressured to agree to a deal that includes two years without any base salary increase.

Seattle teachers union calls off strike

By David Brown, 16 September 2015

The teachers union has moved to end the six-day strike on the basis of a sellout contract, despite broad public support for the teachers.

Amid low voter turnout

Chicago mayor forced into runoff election

By Kristina Betinis, 26 February 2015

The election was a political debacle for both incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel and President Obama.

Chicago Teachers Union backs long-time Democratic Party politician for mayor

By Alexander Fangmann and Jerry White, 10 December 2014

The outcome of the “independent political” initiative of the CTU, promoted by the International Socialist Organization, is the endorsement of a capitalist politician who attacked jobs and pensions.

Chicago Public Schools lays off 1,150 workers

By Kristina Betinis, 27 June 2014

The layoffs affect more than 500 teachers and 650 assistants and school staff, in the latest attack on public education.

Chicago teachers union president offers to negotiate cuts in teacher pensions

By Kristina Betinis, 13 May 2014

In an interview with Crain’s Chicago Business, CTU President Lewis offered to negotiate a cut to pensions for those teachers who have not yet retired.

The Chicago Teachers Union’s “opt-out” campaign and the defense of public education

By Jerry White and Kristina Betinis, 1 April 2014

Earlier this month, the Chicago Teachers Union promoted a boycott of state-wide tests at two elementary schools.

Defend public education

Vote “no” on St. Paul Federation of Teachers sellout contract!

By Mike Stapleton, 4 March 2014

The St. Paul Federation of Teachers contract proposal does not in the slightest manner defend the right to public education.

Striking University of Illinois at Chicago faculty and students speak out

By Kristina Betinis, 20 February 2014

The World Socialist Web Site spoke with striking faculty members and student supporters on the picket lines at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Chicago Teachers Union launches “independent” political organization

By Kristina Betinis, 20 January 2014

With the collaboration of other unions and pseudo-left organizations, the CTU has formed a new organization aimed at preventing a break with the big business political establishment.

As closures continue, Chicago expands private charter schools

By Kristina Betinis, 16 October 2013

City leaders in Chicago plan to close additional public schools while opening new private charter schools.

The betrayal of the Chicago teachers strike: One year on

By Kristina Betinis and Jerry White, 19 September 2013

The defeat of the 2012 Chicago teachers’ strike cleared the way for the acceleration of school closings, layoffs and other attacks on public education not only in Chicago but throughout the United States.

Amid cuts and closures

A new school year begins in Chicago

By Jeff Lusanne and Kristina Betinis, 27 August 2013

The 2013 school year in Chicago begins with 50 fewer schools, 3,000 fewer teachers and staff, and sharply reduced classroom funding.

Chicago Public Schools announces more than 2,100 additional layoffs

By Jeff Lusanne, 20 July 2013

On Friday, Chicago Public Schools laid of 2,113 more teachers and staff, bringing the total summer layoffs to 3,500 as the district implements the largest round of school closings in US history.

Mass layoffs begin in Chicago Public Schools

By Alexander Fangmann, 20 June 2013

On June 14, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) announced the first wave of layoffs—a total of 663 teachers, teaching assistants and aides—as part of the impending closure of 50 schools.

The Chicago school closings and the way forward to defend public education

By Andre Damon, 30 May 2013

The announcement by the Chicago Board of Education last week that 49 of the city’s schools will shut down, in the largest school closing in US history, marks a new stage in the offensive against public education.

Victimized Illinois teacher denounces attack on education in YouTube video

By Jake Dean, 28 May 2013

Ellie Rubenstein, a teacher from Highland Park, Illinois, submitted her resignation in a speech on YouTube last week.

Chicago officials release final list of 49 school closures

By Kristina Betinis, 23 May 2013

The City of Chicago announced the closing of more than 49 public schools, facilitated by the Chicago Teachers Union and its political allies, including the International Socialist Organization.

Chicago Teachers Union files lawsuit alleging school closings are racist

By Alexander Fangmann, 18 May 2013

The Chicago Teachers Union, whose leaders include members of the International Socialist Organization, is seeking to stifle opposition to school closings by promoting racial politics.

Chicago school closings target poorest neighborhoods

By Kristina Betinis and Jeff Lusanne, 10 April 2013

The overwhelming majority of those hit by the shutdown of public schools in Chicago come from poor and low-income families.

Protest against school closures in Chicago

Teachers union seeks to channel opposition behind Democratic Party

By Jeff Lusanne and Shane Feratu, 29 March 2013

The school closure plan—one of the largest in US history—is the direct outcome of the CTU's betrayal of the teachers strike.

No to all school closures! Unite the working class to defend public education!

By the Socialist Equality Party, 27 March 2013

This statement is being distributed at a demonstration of Chicago teachers today.

Chicago residents angry at planned school closings

By a WSWS reporting team, 26 March 2013

On March 21, the city of Chicago announced the closure of 61 public schools and the “turnaround” of 6 others, where all teachers and staff are fired and school management is privatized.

The attack on public education in Chicago

By Alexander Fangmann, 25 March 2013

The announcement of plans to shut down 61 schools in Chicago, Illinois marks a new stage in the social counterrevolution in America.

Chicago announces plans to shut 61 public schools

By Shane Feratu, 23 March 2013

The elimination of 13 percent of Chicago public school buildings is one of the largest mass school closures in US history.

CTU president denies opposing school closures

By Kristina Betinis, 23 March 2013

After the closure of 61 schools was announced by the Chicago public schools district, Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis made clear that the union supports shutting schools.

ISO whitewashes role of Chicago Teachers Union in school closures

By Kristina Betinis, 9 March 2013

In whitewashing the betrayal of the Chicago teachers strike by the Chicago Teachers Union, the ISO seeks above all to cover up its own role in preparing the subsequent school shutdowns.

Mass opposition to school closures in Chicago, Illinois

By Kristina Betinis, 18 February 2013

Hundreds of parents, students and teachers have attended meetings in Chicago, Illinois on the imminent closure of over 100 schools.

Socialism and the defense of public education in Chicago

By the Socialist Equality Party, 14 February 2013

The SEP calls for the independent mobilization of the entire working class to oppose all school closings.

ISO leader endorses Chicago school closings

By Alexander Fangmann, 6 December 2012

Anyone who may still harbor illusions that the International Socialist Organization has anything to do with socialism should take a look at the video of ISO leader Jesse Sharkey’s appearance on Chicago Tonight.

ISO paves way for Chicago school closures

By Kristina Betinis and Jerry White, 27 November 2012

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Public Schools district (CPS) are moving ahead with plans to close as many as 120 public schools, and open up 60 new charter schools over the next few years. About 140 schools have been identified by the district as half-empty, and are expected to be the first targeted for closure. The closings would eliminate the jobs of thousands of teachers and school support staff.

Concessions imposed on Chicago-area teachers

By Shane Feratu and James Brewer, 14 November 2012

Following the sellout of the Chicago teachers' strike last September, suburban teachers have been hit with concessions contracts.

Chicago mayor threatens to cut pensions of teachers and city workers

By Alexander Fangmann, 15 October 2012

In a speech to the city council, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced plans to lead an assault on teacher and public worker pensions by spearheading statewide pension “reform.”

Chicago teachers docked pay, CTU still collects dues

By Kristina Betinis, 9 October 2012

Since the Chicago Teachers Union ended their 10-day strike, teachers have been issued short paychecks or no pay at all, but the union has still deducted dues.

Ratification of Chicago teachers contract sets stage for assault on public education

By Joseph Kishore, 5 October 2012

The contract, backed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Teachers Union, sets the stage for an expanded assault on teachers and public education.

Chicago: Evergreen Park teachers strike

By Shane Feratu, 4 October 2012

Classes were canceled Tuesday after negotiations between the union and Evergreen Park school board fell through on Monday night.

Vote “no” on the Chicago teachers contract!

For a political offensive of the working class to defend public education

By Socialist Equality Party, 1 October 2012

The SEP calls on teachers to reject the sell-out agreement reached between the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Public Schools.

Chicago school nurses speak on shortage: “Our kids deserve better”

By Lawrence Porter, 28 September 2012

Chicago Public Schools nurses describe how the cuts in public education have affected nurse-student ratios, putting the health of students at risk.

Video: Chicago teachers speak on their strike and the defense of public education

26 September 2012

On September 10, Chicago teachers struck against changes to public education demanded by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and backed by the Obama administration. In these interview, Chicago teachers discuss their strike and the broader issues at stake.

Lessons of the Chicago teachers strike

By Jerry White and Joseph Kishore, 21 September 2012

Chicago teachers returned to work on Wednesday after the House of Delegates voted to end their strike. For nine days, the 26,000 teachers waged a courageous struggle in defense of public education. The fight pitted teachers not only against Mayor Rahm Emanuel, but the Obama administration, both big business parties and, most importantly, the Chicago Teachers Union itself.

End of Chicago strike paves way for redoubled attack on teachers, public education

By Joseph Kishore, 20 September 2012

Chicago teachers returned to work on Wednesday, one day after the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) succeeded in passing a motion to end the strike at a House of Delegates meeting.

Delegates meeting votes to end Chicago teachers strike

By Joseph Kishore, 19 September 2012

The Chicago Teachers Union succeeded in obtaining a vote by 800 delegates who met Tuesday evening to end the nine-day strike.

The two paths open to Chicago teachers

By Socialist Equality Party, 19 September 2012

This statement was distributed outside of the Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates meeting on Tuesday, called to decide whether to continue the strike.

Under threat of injunction, Chicago teacher delegates to vote on strike

By Joseph Kishore, 18 September 2012

The Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates is set to vote today on continuing or ending the strike, with city officials holding out the threat of a court injunction.

Seven Days in Chicago: What has been revealed by the Chicago teachers strike

By Jerry White, 18 September 2012

The Chicago teachers’ strike, which entered its second week on Monday, has laid bare the social and political dynamic of the United States.

Chicago teachers vote to continue strike

Mayor threatens injunction

By Joseph Kishore, 17 September 2012

The vote by teachers Sunday is a blow to the Chicago Teachers Union leadership, which is seeking to push through a contract that accepts all of the major demands of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

This deal is not what the strike was about!

By Socialist Equality Party, 17 September 2012

This statement was distributed to Chicago teachers attending a delegates meeting to decide on whether or not the strike of 26,000 teachers should be ended.

SEP candidates discuss fight to defend education with Chicago teachers

By our reporters, 17 September 2012

Socialist Equality Party presidential and vice presidential candidates Jerry White and Phyllis Scherrer campaigned among striking teachers in Chicago over the weekend.

Teachers have the right to know: What’s in the contract?

By Joseph Kishore, 15 September 2012

Today’s rally is being organized under a veil of secrecy. The Chicago Teachers Union is trying to get teachers back to work by Monday, but is saying nothing about the concessions it has agreed to.

Without final contract, Chicago Teachers Union pushes for end to strike

By Joseph Kishore, 15 September 2012

At a delegates meeting on Sunday, the Chicago Teachers Union will seek to push through an agreement that accepts all the essential demands of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Chicago teachers: Reject the contract betrayal! Broaden the fight to defend jobs and public schools!

Statement by Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White

By Statement by Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White, 15 September 2012

The following statement is being distributed at a rally Saturday of Chicago teachers called by the Chicago Teachers Union.

Union preparing to accept sellout contract and end Chicago teachers strike

By Joseph Kishore, 14 September 2012

Chicago Teachers Union officials indicated on Thursday that they are moving quickly to wrap up negotiations with the Chicago Public Schools and end a strike by 36,000 teachers.

Students, teachers oppose attack on public education

By a WSWS reporting team, 14 September 2012

Reporters for the World Socialist Web Site campaigned at picket lines and at the mass rally in downtown Chicago on the fourth day of the Chicago teachers strike. .

“The conditions for students are horrible”

SEP vice presidential candidate Phyllis Scherrer speaks to Chicago teachers

By an SEP campaign team, 13 September 2012

During her second day of campaigning among striking Chicago teachers, SEP vice presidential candidate Phyllis Scherrer continued discussing the political issues of the strike.

Chicago teachers in forefront of fight against bipartisan assault on education

By Joseph Kishore, 12 September 2012

The strike by 26,000 Chicago teachers completed its second day on Tuesday. Tens of thousands of teachers and their supporters gathered at a mass rally in downtown Chicago, filling several city blocks.

Chicago teachers discuss political issues in their strike

By Bryan Dyne, 12 September 2012

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to Chicago teachers on the second day of their strike.

SEP vice presidential candidate discusses political issues with striking Chicago teachers

By an SEP campaign team, 12 September 2012

In discussions with striking Chicago teachers Tuesday, SEP vice presidential candidate Phyllis Scherrer addressed the political issues in their struggle.

Democrats and Republicans line up against Chicago teachers

By Joseph Kishore, 11 September 2012

The strike pits the more than 25,000 teachers against Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Obama administration and the entire political establishment.

Striking teachers speak out in Chicago

By Kristina Betinis, 11 September 2012

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to Chicago teachers about the political issues at stake in the strike.

Teachers strike in Chicago

By Kristina Betinis, 10 September 2012

Negotiations between the Chicago Public Schools, the third largest school district in the country, and the Chicago Teachers Union broke off Sunday evening, sending thousands of teachers to the picket lines.