The Chicago Teachers Union reached a tentative agreement with the city on Thursday that will bring an end to a 11-day strike that kept more than 300,000 children out of school.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the agreement after a closed-door meeting with CTU brass. “In the interest of our students and our parents who have been suffering, it was important to me to make sure we got our kids back in class,” she said. “Enough is enough, and so in the spirit of compromise, we agreed.”
The CTU heralded the deal shortly after it was announced, noting that five days of lost classes will be made up. “We have reached an agreement with the mayor and [Chicago Public Schools] to make up five days of student instruction,” the CTU said in a statement. “Students and educators will return to classes tomorrow.”
BREAKING: We have reached an agreement with the mayor and CPS to make up five days of student instruction. Students and educators will return to classes tomorrow. #CTUSEIUstrike #whenwefightwewin pic.twitter.com/p8zr9C6vgJ
— ChicagoTeachersUnion (@CTULocal1) October 31, 2019
The CTU had demanded all 11 days of missed class be made up, a condition Lightfoot opposed. The compromise was reached on Thursday morning, and classes will resume on Friday.
Teachers in the nation’s third-largest school district went on strike over several issues, from class sizes to inadequate protections for immigrant students. As part of the tentative agreement reached Thursday, the city agreed to install a nurse and social worker in every school, cap class sizes, provide a 16-percent pay increase over five years, and more.
Union leaders said they were happy with the deal while noting there is still plenty to fight for. “We feel like we achieved a lot of things,” CTU President Jesse Sharkey told reporters on Thursday. “There are some things we didn’t achieve, but it’s not a day for photo ops and victory laps.”
CTU official Maria Moreno delivered a similar message while speaking to supporters outside of City Hall, according to the Chicago Tribune. “Now we ask that you take the tentative agreement, read it, share it with every member in your building, read every word and determine for yourself, is this the beginning of change in our public schools?” she said. “This is only the beginning.”