From NPR:

No Deal: Chicago Teachers To Strike After Contract Talks Fail

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis has said, “No [Chicago Teachers Union] members will be inside of our schools Monday,” after contract negotiations failed to reach a deal that would prevent a labor strike, the Chicago Tribune reports. …

As Becky Vevea reported for Weekend Edition Sunday, 25,000 teachers are planning to walk off the job over issues that include benefits and job security.

The strike is the first in 25 years by the Chicago Teachers Union.

Both sides in the dispute have much at stake, reports The Associated Press:

“˜The walkout comes at a time when unions and collective bargaining by public employees have come under criticism in many parts of the country, and all sides are closely monitoring who might emerge with the upper hand in the Chicago dispute.’

From Occupied Chicago Tribune, via OWS:

When a teachers’ strike started to look like a realistic possibility earlier this spring, CPS Chief Communications Officer Becky Carroll warned the readers of Catalyst, “˜Any talk of a strike is the wrong message to send our schools, students and taxpayers.’ For her, and the rest of the privatization evangelists at CPS, the “˜right’ message is simple”“shut up and do what you’re told. …

The corporate education “˜reformers’ have been experimenting on Chicago’s most underserved students and schools for more than two decades, trying any quick-fix makeovers so long as such schemes keep the public out of the discussion on how best to educate our city’s children. The so-called innovations taking place in charter and turnaround schools are making chaos of students’ formative years and relegating the art of teaching to rote instruction.

Faced with such a dire situation, the Chicago Teachers Union’s decision to strike is perhaps the best lesson they could have planned”“when the powers that be are shutting you out of your life, you must take a stand. And it’s a lesson that teachers themselves learned from the communities they serve.

At least some of the students have apparently learned this lesson.

Meanwhile, hundreds of students at Social Justice High School in Little Village have disrupted their school day with sit-ins to protest the dismantling of their school. So CPS shouldn’t worry about the strike giving “˜wrong’ ideas to students “” the students are already leading the charge, and are just in their cause.

(Photo via OWS)