Chicago Teacher Strike

Marlyn Gajek, Staff Writer

The assembly on Friday October 25 that featured Warren Township on Fox 32 news excited the school to a new level. Everyone wishing to be featured on TV and to have their club shown off. The drum line got the biggest feature, but why did a school in Gurnee even get featured? Well, the school was not supposed to be featured on the news.The teachers in the third-largest school district in the nation went on strike, causing a big change of plans for the newscasters and last minute changes as to which school would be shown on the Friday morning. 

The teachers of Chicago went on the longest strike in the Chicago area in decades. The strike lasted 11 days, from October 21-October 31. But what were the teachers fighting for? They were fighting for a change in the system. Most believe that they just wanted a pay raise, but that was just the underlying motive. They really wanted a better environment for the students that they teach. They wanted a bold transformative investment for the schools in the Chicago area. 25,000 teachers were standing outside in the harsh Chicago winds for their own students, wanting better desks and work spaces. 

The Chicago district has suffered low graduation rates and students who have difficulty paying for their own lunches. Students would feel embarrassed that they rely on the school’s help for a meal and so they would not buy a meal. The teachers noticed this and wanted a change. They wanted improved environments so that these students would not feel embarrassed and that graduation rates would rise. 

The teachers agreed on a new deal on the night of Halloween, October 31. The new deal included a 16% raise in pay for the teachers, along with 40% raise for low-paid workers which include: teacher assistants, clerks, substitutes, etc. This 5-year contract also gives an investment boost to each student and lightens the load on teachers by reducing class sizes. With the situation resolved, 300,000 students that were affected by the strike headed back to school on Friday, November 1. 

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