#RedforEd Chicago Teachers Union Closer to Striking

Teachers pose for a photograph with NEA President Lily Eskelsen García, middle, after the #RedForEd Walkout, March and Rally held a news conference at the Esperanza Elementary School in Isaac School District Wednesday, April 25, 2018, in Phoenix. Arizona teachers are due to go on strike Thursday. (AP Photo/Ross D. …
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) moved one step closer to a strike on Tuesday.

“Last month, CTU President Jesse Sharkey, who is described by Chicago City Wire as a “card carrying socialist,” threatened a strike if the union’s contract demands are not met by new Mayor Lori Lightfoot,” Breitbart News reported earlier.

Those threats now appear to be closer to realization.

On Thursday morning at 8:15  a.m. central time, a running clock at the CTU website read “the CPS educators have been working without a contract” for 23 hours and 15 minutes.

As Education Week reported:

In Chicago, the nation’s third-largest school district, contract negotiations are “far behind,” Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey said in a press conference on Tuesday.

Teachers go back to school next week, but the two sides are still far apart on several issues, including the length of the contract itself. The union wants a three-year contract, while the district wants a five-year contract. . .

“I think what it shows is that the city has stepped up and made real commitments to teachers and support staff to make sure we are enhancing the educational experience for our young people,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot told reporters, according to news site WTTW.

Sharkey, meanwhile, said in a statement that the report “does nothing but codify inequitable and unjust school policy.”

Social justice has been a main theme of Sharkey’s leadership of the CTU, which is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the second largest national teachers union in the country.

Both CTU and AFT, along with the largest teachers union in the country, the National Education Association (NEA) have been major supporters of the #RedforEd movement, which launched in Arizona in March 2108 with the organizational assistance of a former CTU member and has subsequently spread throughout most states in the country.

In February, Breitbart News was the first national media outlet to report on the highly political nature of the #RedforEd movement:

A well-funded and subversive leftist movement of teachers in the United States threatens to tilt the political balance nationwide in the direction of Democrats across the country as Republicans barely hang on in key states that they need to hold for President Donald Trump to win re-election and for Republicans to have a shot at retaking the House and holding onto their Senate majority.

This teachers union effort, called #RedforEd, has its roots in the very same socialism that President Trump vowed in his 2019 State of the Union address to stop, and it began in its current form in early 2018 in a far-flung corner of the country before spreading nationally. Its stated goals–higher teacher pay and better education conditions–are overshadowed by a more malevolent political agenda: a leftist Democrat uprising designed to flip purple or red states to blue, using the might of a significant part of the education system as its lever.

“A four member delegation from the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), all active supporters of the #RedforEd movement, traveled to Venezuela earlier this month to provide support for the socialist regime of Nicolas Maduro,” Breitbart News reported in July.

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