- Apr 13, 2011
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
The Chicago Teachers Union is going on strike on tomorrow. But they aren’t going alone.The union struck in 2012, claiming to fight not just for themselves but for a broad social justice agenda in defense of public schools and all public services. They emerged victorious over Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Public Schools, who wanted to further erode teachers’ power in the schools and institute more free market-friendly reforms. At a time when the labor movement was in dire straits, the win was an inspiration to unionists around the country.
But since then, the union has suffered defeat after defeat: forty-nine school closures, rounds of layoffs, devastating budget cuts. And Illinois’ new Republican governor, private equity mogul Bruce Rauner, has carried out a disastrous agenda of austerity, holding the state budget hostage unless legislators agree to major rollbacks of union rights.
So when teachers’ contract expired this year and they were faced with more austerity demands, they again considered striking. But this time they have joined other unions and community groups in calling for a citywide “general strike” on April 1, demanding not just a strong contract but new, “progressive” sources of revenue — taxing the city’s financial district, for example, and ending the state’s flat income tax — to fund public goods and services throughout Chicago and Illinois. The CTU and the groups allied with them are looking to win not just a moral victory against austerity, but a tangible one.
The strike will only last a day, but it’s the kind of mass political action that rarely seen in American labor history. It’s also one that isn’t without risks; CPS has declared the strike illegal.
To discuss the strike and its implications, I spoke to Sarah Chambers, a special education teacher at Saucedo Elementary, a member of the CTU executive board, and a co-chair of the Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators.
Read more @: The Next Great Chicago Strike
Solidarity to all those taking part in the General Strike! :usflag2::usflag2: