More than 30,000 CPS teachers and support staff are on strike. Gathering in front of schools across the city with signs, teachers say they’re fighting for better schools and for their students.
Some key issues for the Chicago Teachers Union are getting smaller class sizes; getting a written commitment for more nurses, librarians and social workers; and reducing counselor caseloads.
Here are some scenes from the strike. You can follow all latest developments with WBEZ’s live blog.
Thursday, Oct. 31
Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey waits outside Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office for a meeting with her Thursday morning. The CTU and Chicago Public Schools appear close to a contract agreement, but the union is demanding makeup days and compensation for days missed during the walkout, something Mayor Lori Lightfoot opposes.
Jesse Sharkey speaks to the news media outside City Hall on the 11th day of the teachers strike.
CTU marchers bundle up for the cold and early snow as they march in the Loop on the 11th day of their walkout.
CTU marches, including some young supporters, wear Halloween costumes under their winter gear as they march downtown.
Tuesday, Oct. 29
Around 2 p.m. several strike supporters were arrested when they refused to leave the offices of Sterling Bay, the developer of the Lincoln Yards mega-project that has been a target of the Chicago Teachers Union. A group of demonstrators locked arms and blocked the entrance to Sterling Bay’s offices at 1330 W. Fulton St. while another group staged a sit-in inside. Chicago police took some of the protesters into custody.
Wednesday, Oct. 23
Striking Chicago teachers carry a sign of Mayor Lori Lightfoot as they march in the Loop on Tuesday, October 23 on Day Five of their walkout. Thousands of strikers converged downtown rather than walking pickets lines outside schools.
Protesters outside the Thompson Center in the Loop on Wednesday morning.
CTU strikers picked up some prehistoric support during Wednesday’s demonstration in downtown Chicago.
Tuesday, Oct. 22
Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks during a rally at Oscar DePriest Elementary school in the Austin neighborhood as she drops into Chicago for a brief stop on her way to Iowa. Standing to Warren’s left is AFT President Randi Weingarten.
Angie Ramirez, a teacher at South Side Occupational Academy, cheers as she and others listen to presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren speak during a rally at Oscar DePriest Elementary school in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago.
Striking teachers and support staff take selfies with Sen. Elizabeth Warren as she arrives at Oscar DePriest Elementary School for a rally.
Chicago Teacher’s Union President Jesse Sharkey speaks during a rally at Oscar DePriest Elementary School as several hundred striking teachers await the arrival of Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Striking teachers and support staff line the South Central Avenue sidewalk in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago anticipating the arrival of Sen. Elizabeth Warren at Oscar DePriest Elementary School.
Friday, Oct. 18
Teachers hold a rally at Daley Plaza and march through downtown Friday afternoon.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot serves breakfast at Gads Hill Center in Pilsen Friday morning.
Teachers at Hanson Park Elementary share homemade tamales.
Thursday, Oct. 17
Teachers rally at CPS headquarters in downtown Chicago..
CPS teachers picket outside Edward E. Sadlowski Elementary School on the Southeast Side of Chicago. Jessica Fitzgerald (middle, red sweatshirt) says this is her first strike. “I’d rather be at work teaching my students.”
Teachers picket in front of Lane Tech College Prep in Lake View.
Kimberly Edwards, a special-ed teacher at Hammond Elementary School on Chicago’s West Side: “We need more counselors and social workers and our teachers’ assistants need better pay and job security.”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot visits children at the McCormick YMCA of Metro Chicago on the first day of the teachers strike.
Striking teachers walk a picket line at Peirce Elementary in Andersonville on Chicago’s North Side early Thursday.
Becky Welch, a diverse learners teacher at Chalmers School of Excellence on Chicago’s West Side: “I believe my students deserve more equitable education. That means smaller class sizes, more social workersand more nurses.”
Victoria Winslow, a first-grade teacher at Chalmers School of Excellence on Chicago’s West Side: “I’m out here for smaller class sizesand to give my students the support they need. They can only get sick on Wednesday because we have a nurse only one day a week.”
CTU President Jesse Sharkey speaks to the news media Thursday morningat Peirce Elementary in Andersonville on the first day of the teachers strike.
Wednesday, Oct. 16
Teachers pick up picket signs at the CTU headquarters as they prepare to strike the next day.
CTU members at a news conference at the union’s headquarters at 1901 W. Carroll Ave. on Wednesday as they announce plans to strike on Thursday.
Chicago parents and several community groups gather at City Hall on Wednesday to ramp up pressure on the mayor to put her education justice promises in writing as the Thursday strike deadline looms.
For the latest updates on the CTU strike, check out our live blog. You can also follow our education team on Twitter at @WBEZeducation and join WBEZ Education’s Facebook group for breaking strike updates all week.