Five Chicago Charter Schools Could Vote To Strike On May Day

Acero charter school network teachers hold signs as they protest during a strike outside Zizumbo Elementary School on Dec. 5, 2018 in Chicago. (Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

If the charter school teachers do vote to strike, they could strike five charter schools on May 1, otherwise known as May Day.

CHICAGO, IL—The Chicago Teachers Union has announced that teachers at five Chicago-area charter schools are preparing to vote in early April to go out on strike, according to Chalkbeat.

“Our members are willing and ready to strike if that’s what it takes to put these funds into the classroom,” said Mihir Garud, a ninth-grade financial literacy teacher and treasurer of the Chicago Teachers Union charter division. He and other teachers and students were barred from attending the downtown board meeting of the Instituto Del Progreso Latino network’s two schools.

So about 30 educators and supporters filled the downtown lobby of a BMO Harris Bank to demand that their charter network, Instituto del Progreso Latino, raise teacher pay.

Building on momentum from two successful strikes of charter networks, the teachers union announced that the two Instituto del Progreso Latino schools, the Chicago High School for the Arts, Latino Youth High School and Youth Connection Leadership Academy would vote from April 8 to 11 on authorizing strikes. At those winning more than 50 percent of votes cast, teachers could walk out on May 1.

Although the timing of a possible strike occurring on May Day may be purely coincidental, May Day does have historical significance worldwide among anarchists, more Marxist-oriented unions and, as well, unions in Chicago.

In December, the first charter school strike in the nation took place in Chicago when the Chicago Teachers Union struck the Acero charter school network. [Read an analysis of that strike and its impact here.]


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