March 8, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Chicago, IL – The Chicago Teachers Union will prepare to strike as soon as April 1 if the city school system cuts their pay by 7%, union Vice President Jesse Sharkey said Feb. 29. Sharkey said schools officials gave the union a 30-day notice in early February of its plan to stop contributing that amount to teachers’ pensions, which means it would come out of teachers’ paychecks.
“We think that’s an outrageous violation of the way labor law works, and if they actually go through with it, you can expect our labor to prepare for an unfair labor practice strike on April 1,” he said. City labor lawyer James Franczek said such a strike would be illegal even if the state Education Labor Relations Board ruled the cuts were an unfair labor practice. “Under the National Labor Relations Act, employees may lawfully strike over unfair labor practices as a way to induce the employer to stop committing them,” CTU lawyer Robert Bloch responded. “This would be over unfairly cutting teachers pay in the middle of negotiations.” Read more