The Chicago Teachers Union seems to be marching inexorably toward a strike beginning Oct. 17. The union struck for a single day in 2016 and for seven days in 2012, which many credit as being the launching point for a later wave of teacher strikes across the country.
While CTU continues to be lauded within the labor movement for its militancy, the actual collective bargaining agreements that came out of its strikes are not exactly celebrated. CTU President Jesse Sharkey himself stated that the years since the 2012 strike resulted in “nearly a decade of austerity and cuts for Chicago’s teachers and other school staff.”
Well, he’s half right.
That there have been staff cuts in the Chicago Public Schools since 2012 is undeniable. The district is exemplary in publishing monthly statistics on finances, staffing and enrollment.