The 2012 Chicago teachers strike

Karen Lewis, former president of the Chicago Teachers Union, dies at 67

By Alexander Fangmann, 14 February 2021

Lewis’ death prompted an outpouring of sympathy and praise from the corporate media, fellow union officials and the Democratic Socialists of America, but a closer examination of her record tells a very different story.

Vote “No” on the CTU-CPS plan to reopen Chicago schools! Saving lives is non-negotiable!

By Chicago Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 9 February 2021

The tentative deal Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) leaders reached over the weekend with Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) officials is an abject surrender that must be rejected.

Reopening schools during the pandemic is not negotiable! Lives and health are not negotiable!

Chicago Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 4 February 2021

We call on Chicago educators to mobilize opposition to any agreement reached by CPS and the CTU to reopen schools, and to prepare for general strike action with the broader working class to close all schools and nonessential businesses.

999 Chicago teachers struggle against reopening

3 February 2021

999 Effort to force Chicago schools to reopen

1 February 2021

999 Chicago Educators R&F Committee founding statement

20 January 2021

999 Chicago schools update or r/f statement

18 January 2021

999 CTU official travels to Puerto Rico as schools open

6 January 2021

999 CTU official travels to Puerto Rico, right wing uses to push to reopen Chicago schools

5 January 2021

999 CTU defeats Sanders endorsement

14 February 2020

230 Pseudo-left and Chicago teachers

11 November 2019

230 CTU and teachers strike

15 October 2019

105 CTU and teachers

9 June 2017

230 Chicago teachers protest statement

3 February 2017

060 Chicago teachers

26 October 2016

040 Chicago teachers

7 October 2016

Defend public education

Vote “no” on St. Paul Federation of Teachers sellout contract!

By Mike Stapleton, 4 March 2014

The St. Paul Federation of Teachers contract proposal does not in the slightest manner defend the right to public education.

Striking University of Illinois at Chicago faculty and students speak out

By Kristina Betinis, 20 February 2014

The World Socialist Web Site spoke with striking faculty members and student supporters on the picket lines at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Chicago Teachers Union launches “independent” political organization

By Kristina Betinis, 20 January 2014

With the collaboration of other unions and pseudo-left organizations, the CTU has formed a new organization aimed at preventing a break with the big business political establishment.

As closures continue, Chicago expands private charter schools

By Kristina Betinis, 16 October 2013

City leaders in Chicago plan to close additional public schools while opening new private charter schools.

The betrayal of the Chicago teachers strike: One year on

By Kristina Betinis and Jerry White, 19 September 2013

The defeat of the 2012 Chicago teachers’ strike cleared the way for the acceleration of school closings, layoffs and other attacks on public education not only in Chicago but throughout the United States.

Amid cuts and closures

A new school year begins in Chicago

By Jeff Lusanne and Kristina Betinis, 27 August 2013

The 2013 school year in Chicago begins with 50 fewer schools, 3,000 fewer teachers and staff, and sharply reduced classroom funding.

Chicago Public Schools announces more than 2,100 additional layoffs

By Jeff Lusanne, 20 July 2013

On Friday, Chicago Public Schools laid of 2,113 more teachers and staff, bringing the total summer layoffs to 3,500 as the district implements the largest round of school closings in US history.

Mass layoffs begin in Chicago Public Schools

By Alexander Fangmann, 20 June 2013

On June 14, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) announced the first wave of layoffs—a total of 663 teachers, teaching assistants and aides—as part of the impending closure of 50 schools.

The Chicago school closings and the way forward to defend public education

By Andre Damon, 30 May 2013

The announcement by the Chicago Board of Education last week that 49 of the city’s schools will shut down, in the largest school closing in US history, marks a new stage in the offensive against public education.

Victimized Illinois teacher denounces attack on education in YouTube video

By Jake Dean, 28 May 2013

Ellie Rubenstein, a teacher from Highland Park, Illinois, submitted her resignation in a speech on YouTube last week.

Chicago officials release final list of 49 school closures

By Kristina Betinis, 23 May 2013

The City of Chicago announced the closing of more than 49 public schools, facilitated by the Chicago Teachers Union and its political allies, including the International Socialist Organization.

Chicago Teachers Union files lawsuit alleging school closings are racist

By Alexander Fangmann, 18 May 2013

The Chicago Teachers Union, whose leaders include members of the International Socialist Organization, is seeking to stifle opposition to school closings by promoting racial politics.

Chicago school closings target poorest neighborhoods

By Kristina Betinis and Jeff Lusanne, 10 April 2013

The overwhelming majority of those hit by the shutdown of public schools in Chicago come from poor and low-income families.

Protest against school closures in Chicago

Teachers union seeks to channel opposition behind Democratic Party

By Jeff Lusanne and Shane Feratu, 29 March 2013

The school closure plan—one of the largest in US history—is the direct outcome of the CTU's betrayal of the teachers strike.

No to all school closures! Unite the working class to defend public education!

the Socialist Equality Party, 27 March 2013

This statement is being distributed at a demonstration of Chicago teachers today.

Chicago residents angry at planned school closings

By a WSWS reporting team, 26 March 2013

On March 21, the city of Chicago announced the closure of 61 public schools and the “turnaround” of 6 others, where all teachers and staff are fired and school management is privatized.

The attack on public education in Chicago

By Alexander Fangmann, 25 March 2013

The announcement of plans to shut down 61 schools in Chicago, Illinois marks a new stage in the social counterrevolution in America.

Chicago announces plans to shut 61 public schools

By Shane Feratu, 23 March 2013

The elimination of 13 percent of Chicago public school buildings is one of the largest mass school closures in US history.

CTU president denies opposing school closures

By Kristina Betinis, 23 March 2013

After the closure of 61 schools was announced by the Chicago public schools district, Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis made clear that the union supports shutting schools.

ISO whitewashes role of Chicago Teachers Union in school closures

By Kristina Betinis, 9 March 2013

In whitewashing the betrayal of the Chicago teachers strike by the Chicago Teachers Union, the ISO seeks above all to cover up its own role in preparing the subsequent school shutdowns.

Mass opposition to school closures in Chicago, Illinois

By Kristina Betinis, 18 February 2013

Hundreds of parents, students and teachers have attended meetings in Chicago, Illinois on the imminent closure of over 100 schools.

Socialism and the defense of public education in Chicago

the Socialist Equality Party, 14 February 2013

The SEP calls for the independent mobilization of the entire working class to oppose all school closings.

ISO leader endorses Chicago school closings

By Alexander Fangmann, 6 December 2012

Anyone who may still harbor illusions that the International Socialist Organization has anything to do with socialism should take a look at the video of ISO leader Jesse Sharkey’s appearance on Chicago Tonight.

ISO paves way for Chicago school closures

By Kristina Betinis and Jerry White, 27 November 2012

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Public Schools district (CPS) are moving ahead with plans to close as many as 120 public schools, and open up 60 new charter schools over the next few years. About 140 schools have been identified by the district as half-empty, and are expected to be the first targeted for closure. The closings would eliminate the jobs of thousands of teachers and school support staff.

Concessions imposed on Chicago-area teachers

By Shane Feratu and James Brewer, 14 November 2012

Following the sellout of the Chicago teachers' strike last September, suburban teachers have been hit with concessions contracts.

Chicago mayor threatens to cut pensions of teachers and city workers

By Alexander Fangmann, 15 October 2012

In a speech to the city council, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced plans to lead an assault on teacher and public worker pensions by spearheading statewide pension “reform.”

Chicago teachers docked pay, CTU still collects dues

By Kristina Betinis, 9 October 2012

Since the Chicago Teachers Union ended their 10-day strike, teachers have been issued short paychecks or no pay at all, but the union has still deducted dues.

Ratification of Chicago teachers contract sets stage for assault on public education

By Joseph Kishore, 5 October 2012

The contract, backed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Teachers Union, sets the stage for an expanded assault on teachers and public education.

Chicago: Evergreen Park teachers strike

By Shane Feratu, 4 October 2012

Classes were canceled Tuesday after negotiations between the union and Evergreen Park school board fell through on Monday night.

Vote “no” on the Chicago teachers contract!

For a political offensive of the working class to defend public education

Socialist Equality Party, 1 October 2012

The SEP calls on teachers to reject the sell-out agreement reached between the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Public Schools.

Chicago school nurses speak on shortage: “Our kids deserve better”

By Lawrence Porter, 28 September 2012

Chicago Public Schools nurses describe how the cuts in public education have affected nurse-student ratios, putting the health of students at risk.

Video: Chicago teachers speak on their strike and the defense of public education

26 September 2012

On September 10, Chicago teachers struck against changes to public education demanded by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and backed by the Obama administration. In these interview, Chicago teachers discuss their strike and the broader issues at stake.

Lessons of the Chicago teachers strike

By Jerry White and Joseph Kishore, 21 September 2012

Chicago teachers returned to work on Wednesday after the House of Delegates voted to end their strike. For nine days, the 26,000 teachers waged a courageous struggle in defense of public education. The fight pitted teachers not only against Mayor Rahm Emanuel, but the Obama administration, both big business parties and, most importantly, the Chicago Teachers Union itself.

End of Chicago strike paves way for redoubled attack on teachers, public education

By Joseph Kishore, 20 September 2012

Chicago teachers returned to work on Wednesday, one day after the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) succeeded in passing a motion to end the strike at a House of Delegates meeting.

Delegates meeting votes to end Chicago teachers strike

By Joseph Kishore, 19 September 2012

The Chicago Teachers Union succeeded in obtaining a vote by 800 delegates who met Tuesday evening to end the nine-day strike.

The two paths open to Chicago teachers

Socialist Equality Party, 19 September 2012

This statement was distributed outside of the Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates meeting on Tuesday, called to decide whether to continue the strike.

Under threat of injunction, Chicago teacher delegates to vote on strike

By Joseph Kishore, 18 September 2012

The Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates is set to vote today on continuing or ending the strike, with city officials holding out the threat of a court injunction.

Seven Days in Chicago: What has been revealed by the Chicago teachers strike

By Jerry White, 18 September 2012

The Chicago teachers’ strike, which entered its second week on Monday, has laid bare the social and political dynamic of the United States.

Chicago teachers vote to continue strike

Mayor threatens injunction

By Joseph Kishore, 17 September 2012

The vote by teachers Sunday is a blow to the Chicago Teachers Union leadership, which is seeking to push through a contract that accepts all of the major demands of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

This deal is not what the strike was about!

Socialist Equality Party, 17 September 2012

This statement was distributed to Chicago teachers attending a delegates meeting to decide on whether or not the strike of 26,000 teachers should be ended.

SEP candidates discuss fight to defend education with Chicago teachers

By our reporters, 17 September 2012

Socialist Equality Party presidential and vice presidential candidates Jerry White and Phyllis Scherrer campaigned among striking teachers in Chicago over the weekend.

Teachers have the right to know: What’s in the contract?

By Joseph Kishore, 15 September 2012

Today’s rally is being organized under a veil of secrecy. The Chicago Teachers Union is trying to get teachers back to work by Monday, but is saying nothing about the concessions it has agreed to.

Without final contract, Chicago Teachers Union pushes for end to strike

By Joseph Kishore, 15 September 2012

At a delegates meeting on Sunday, the Chicago Teachers Union will seek to push through an agreement that accepts all the essential demands of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Chicago teachers: Reject the contract betrayal! Broaden the fight to defend jobs and public schools!

Statement by Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White

Statement by Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White, 15 September 2012

The following statement is being distributed at a rally Saturday of Chicago teachers called by the Chicago Teachers Union.

Union preparing to accept sellout contract and end Chicago teachers strike

By Joseph Kishore, 14 September 2012

Chicago Teachers Union officials indicated on Thursday that they are moving quickly to wrap up negotiations with the Chicago Public Schools and end a strike by 36,000 teachers.

Students, teachers oppose attack on public education

By a WSWS reporting team, 14 September 2012

Reporters for the World Socialist Web Site campaigned at picket lines and at the mass rally in downtown Chicago on the fourth day of the Chicago teachers strike. .

“The conditions for students are horrible”

SEP vice presidential candidate Phyllis Scherrer speaks to Chicago teachers

By an SEP campaign team, 13 September 2012

During her second day of campaigning among striking Chicago teachers, SEP vice presidential candidate Phyllis Scherrer continued discussing the political issues of the strike.

Chicago teachers in forefront of fight against bipartisan assault on education

By Joseph Kishore, 12 September 2012

The strike by 26,000 Chicago teachers completed its second day on Tuesday. Tens of thousands of teachers and their supporters gathered at a mass rally in downtown Chicago, filling several city blocks.

Chicago teachers discuss political issues in their strike

By Bryan Dyne, 12 September 2012

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to Chicago teachers on the second day of their strike.

SEP vice presidential candidate discusses political issues with striking Chicago teachers

By an SEP campaign team, 12 September 2012

In discussions with striking Chicago teachers Tuesday, SEP vice presidential candidate Phyllis Scherrer addressed the political issues in their struggle.

Democrats and Republicans line up against Chicago teachers

By Joseph Kishore, 11 September 2012

The strike pits the more than 25,000 teachers against Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Obama administration and the entire political establishment.

Striking teachers speak out in Chicago

By Kristina Betinis, 11 September 2012

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to Chicago teachers about the political issues at stake in the strike.

Teachers strike in Chicago

By Kristina Betinis, 10 September 2012

Negotiations between the Chicago Public Schools, the third largest school district in the country, and the Chicago Teachers Union broke off Sunday evening, sending thousands of teachers to the picket lines.