The strike by the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) continued into its third day on Saturday as negotiations with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) failed to reach a resolution.
The Chicago Sun–Times reported:
The Chicago Teachers Union and city leaders each praised “progress” made at the bargaining table as the teachers’ strike entered its third day, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Saturday she’d be “surprised” if a deal can be hammered out in time for classes to resume Monday.
As CTU president Jesse Sharkey and vice president Stacy Davis Gates returned to Malcolm X College to continue contract talks, Mayor Lori Lightfoot visited a West Side youth development group’s basketball program — and students took a break from shooting hoops to ask when their schools will reopen.
“I think if we really work hard at it, we could get a deal done this weekend,” Lightfoot told them.
But speaking to reporters afterward, the mayor said she would be “very surprised if classes are going to be open on Monday.”
Classes were cancelled for the 361,000 K-12 students who attend CPS on Thursday and Friday.
The CTU, which is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, is seeking more pay for its 25,000 teachers and has several other demands, including more support staff. An additional 10,000 CPS support staff workers, who are members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are also on strike.
But, as Breitbart News reported in August, performance of CPS students has been well before the national average for years.
Mailee Smith, staff attorney and director of labor policy for the Illinois Policy Institute, said on Saturday that raw politics may play a role in the CTU’s decision to strike.
“Chicago Teachers Union backed Toni Preckwinkle for mayor of Chicago, donating nearly $300,000 to her campaign. But Lori Lightfoot won–and now CTU is on strike for the third time in seven years despite her generous offer,” Smith wrote.
Chicago Teachers Union and its political action committee donated over $291,000 in 2019 to mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle, according to Illinois State Board of Elections records.
Of that amount, over $164,000 came from CTU itself, and not from funds its members donated specifically for political activity.
The union gave nothing to candidate Lori Lightfoot.
But CTU’s candidate lost, and now it won’t take a generous deal offered by Mayor Lightfoot. Instead, it walked out on students to press not just for legitimate contract issues such as higher compensation, but also for city action on unrelated issues such as affordable housing for students.
Both the leadership and rank and file members of the CTU have embraced far left socialist policies for decades.
In July, a CTU delegation traveled to Venezuela to support the socialist regime of Nicolas Maduro.
CTU has also been closely tied to the #RedforEd teachers union movement, whose “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,” as Breitbart News reported in February.