Teachers threaten strike at one of Chicago’s oldest charter schools

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EDGEWATER, Ill. -- More labor trouble that could affect Chicago classrooms, but this time, it's not Chicago Public Schools.

Teachers are threatening to walk off the job next Thursday at a Passages Charter School on the North Side, claiming contract talks are going nowhere.

The strike is not official yet as the two sides are still bargaining over a new deal.

Passages was one of the first charter schools in the city, it has about 500 students and 46 unionized teachers and TA's.

They voted to strike a couple of weeks ago after a year of negotiations with Asian Human Services (AHS), which runs the school.

The teachers claim the school's managers are paying themselves big salaries while cutting classroom expenses to be the bone.

“They are taking a huge cut of the budget that should come to the school and they’re just receiving huge paychecks for themselves, and our students are suffering," said Gina Mengarelli, a third grade teacher. "They don’t have the resources they need.. there’s a lot of programs are being cut — sports, summer school, things like that. W’re the lowest-paid charter school teachers in the city.”

If teachers walk out next week, this would be the first charter school strike ever in the United States. But talks are still ongoing with AHS.

AHS has not yet commented on the possible strike.

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