On the last day of bargaining, we reject CPS’ contract proposal. We are set to strike tomorrow, Thursday, October 17 starting at 6:30am at our local Chicago Public School. We’ll have media covering the picket line at Christopher Elementary School (5042 S Artesian Ave, Chicago, IL 60632), a magnet school with special education programming.
*UPDATE* Special Education Classroom Assistants, Custodians, Bus Aides,and Security Officers are set to continue strike Friday, October 18 without any progress on a contract that offers good jobs for school staff and ensures the clean, safe schools Chicago’s students deserve.
We are fighting for over 7,500 special education classroom assistants (SECAs), bus aides who help special education children go to and from school, custodians, and security officers who are striking for clean and safe schools, justice for students and families, dignity and respect.
CPS workers demand clean and safe schools, that SECAs stop being pulled into random assignments so their special education students can receive the care and instruction they deserve, and to end giving millions of dollars to Sodexo and Aramark while custodians are struggling for resources, bus aides are being forced to work multiple jobs in between shifts to make ends meet.
“Today’s bargaining session with Chicago Public School Board was a disappointment to the more than 7,500 Chicago Public School staff who dedicate themselves to providing clean and safe schools and to help special education students obtain the education they deserve. We wanted to negotiate a fair contract to bring Chicago the schools that children deserve and to win economic justice for all our workers without going on strike. However, the city’s unwillingness to bring equity and fairness to workers have given us no other choice than to trike on Thursday. There is no reason why a Bus Aide should have to get two or three more jobs in order to survive. There is no reason why a Special Education Classroom Assistant should be taken away to do other duties because of under staffing at school. There is no reason why custodians should be struggling for resources while Aramark and Sodexo receive millions of dollars from the school district. There is no reason why in Chicago, a city of such wealth and resources can’t properly invest in good jobs for school staff. The Mayor had an opportunity to fulfill her campaign promises to bring educational equity to Chicago students and bring economic justice to the workers who work in the Chicago Public Schools. But unfortunately, today she chose not to. We are going on strike tomorrow and will stay on strike as long as it takes to ensure a bright future for Chicago’s students, especially special education students, and fair working conditions for the thousands of staff who work in the halls of our schools,” Dian Palmer, SEIU Local 73 President’s statement.