Chicago Teachers Union says Lightfoot trying to ‘hustle’ members

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CHICAGO — Chicago teachers are scheduled to hold a strike vote next week.

Next Tuesday through Thursday, members of the Chicago Teachers Union will vote on whether to strike. If 75 percent or more support a strike, the teachers can walk off the job as soon as October 7.

Friday, union leaders sent a warning to the Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot by joining University of Chicago nurses on strike.

Negotiators for both sides have been meeting three times a week. But CTU President Jesse Sharkey and the Lightfoot haven’t spoken in two weeks. Instead, they’re communicating in the press.

“I am willing and this administration is committed to making sure that we do everything that we can to get a deal so that our students continue to have the opportunity to grow and thrive without a disruption,” Mayor Lightfoot said. “I told President Sharkey when we met probably now two weeks ago that when he believed that it was time for me to be there, I would be there and they said wait and he’d get back to me.”

“The mayor has to give her negotiating team instruction to bargain productively on the key issues. That hasn’t happened yet,” Sharkey said.

Chicago Public Schools is offering the teachers a 16 percent pay raise over 5 years and some teachers would see a 24 percent raise over the life of the contract.

It is not good enough, the union says.

CTU vows to continue to hold out over staffing shortages and class size.

It’s not clear whether 75 percent of the teachers will vote to strike.

Next week, this dispute enters a new phase. The CTU announced late Friday Senator Bernie Sanders will join them at a rally next Tuesday at CTU headquarters.

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