Chicago Mayor, Lori Lightfoot has said that they have reached an agreement with the CTU and that classes will resume on Friday.
The teacher strike which started two weeks ago was called off after Chicago teachers had a closed-door meeting with the Mayor of Chicago to reach a labor deal. The strike kept school children at home for 11 days. Speaking on their decision to put an end to the strike, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) said in a statement released on Thursday that they had reached a deal with the Mayor and the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and that students and educators will be returning to classes on Friday.
Confirming the agreement to call off the strike, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a tweet “CPS classes will resume on Friday.” Students are expected to be in school as the CTU says it is willing to make up for five days of instruction. The CTU has over 25,000 teachers and support staff as members.
When the president of the CTU, Jesse Sharkey was invited by the Mayor to make a joint announcement about the labor deal, the Union leader declined. Sharkey told reporters that it wasn’t a day for photo ops and victory laps.
“We feel like we achieved a lot but there some things that were not achieved,” he said. Sharkey told reporters that despite the agreement reached, their members were still out there on picket lines. For him, what these people need to see is that the Union has a tentative agreement, a return to a work agreement and not him smiling with the Mayor.
The strike is said to be the longest in the city since 1987. The CTU demanded more social workers, nurses, and librarians in schools across the district. They also called for an increase in salary, protection for immigrant children and smaller class sizes. The city agreed to employ hundreds of additional staff by 2023 and $35 million to reduce class sizes.