Red Star Strike Update: Day 1

Red Star Strike Update: Day 1

Welcome to the Day 1 of the Red Star Strike Update, a mini daily that will be produced throughout the CTU and SEIU Local 73 workers’ strike. Each issue will provide a recap of the day’s events, contract bargaining updates, background on the unions’ efforts, and information about how to be active in the coming days.

Strikes are the sledgehammer in the toolbox of the working class. It is imperative that CDSA show solidarity with CTU and SEIU 73 as they strike for the common good.


STRIKE DAY! Chicago was out in force today supporting the over 30,000 CPS teachers and staff on strike! This was a day of robust picket lines, student solidarity, and top-notch sign game.

DSA members were on picket lines at each of the 11 schools we adopted, as well as others across the city, and saw significant public support for our city’s educators and support staff. Comrades from DSA chapters outside the city and state traveled to take part in the day’s actions.

There was a rally downtown this afternoon with thousands of people marching in solidarity with CTU and SEIU 73. Marchers echoed chants across the Loop, shut down Michigan Ave., and confronted the capitalists with working-class power at the Board of Trade.

Bread for Ed, a partnership between CDSA and Chicago Jobs with Justice, has raised nearly $30,000 to feed low-income students and teachers. DSA members prepared lunches, and several city council members and community organizations opened their doors to ensure students could eat even with the schools closed.

Contract bargaining:

  • Chicago Parks District workers in SEIU Local 73 reached a tentative agreement on Wednesday with CPS, avoiding a strike. Many of the workers pledged to join the picket lines to support the other SEIU and CTU workers, as well as run “solidarity camps” at parks for students.

  • CTU: Although union leaders reported making progress on securing contract language concerning limitations on class size, the city and the union failed to reach a deal. CTU members will return to the picket lines tomorrow.

  • SEIU Local 73: The rest of SEIU Local 73 rejected CPS’ latest offer on Wednesday and stated that they hadn’t made any progress today. They will return to the picket lines tomorrow.

Upcoming Actions

The two main things you can do to offer physical support, if you can, are to walk the picket line and to volunteer with Bread for Ed. If you’re unable to join us early in the morning, there are other solidarity events taking place throughout the day.

Picket Lines

Picket lines will run from 6:30am to 10:30am every day the strike continues. Check out to learn more.

The DSA has established pickets, led by Labor Branch strike captains, at these 11 schools:

  • Eugene Field Elementary School (7019 N Ashland Blvd, Rogers Park)

  • Hibbard Elementary School (3244 W Ainslie St, Albany Park)

  • Hyde Park Academy High School (6220 S Stony Island Ave, Hyde Park)

  • John A Walsh Public School (2015 S Peoria St, Pilsen)

  • Jones College Prep (700 S State St, Loop)

  • Linne Elementary School (3221 N Sacramento Ave, Avondale)

  • McClellan Elementary School (3527 S Wallace St, Bridgeport)

  • Ogden International School of Chicago (1250 W Erie St, West Town)

  • Richard Yates Elementary School (1839 N Richmond St, Logan Square)

  • Swift Elementary Specialty School (5900 N Winthrop Ave, Edgewater)

  • Willa Cather Elementary School (2908 W Washington Blvd, East Garfield Park)

Other Events

  • 10:30am-11:30am: “Potluck and Conversations,” hosted by the Logan Square Neighborhood Association (2840 N Milwaukee Ave). This event is only for striking teachers and school staff.

  • 1:30 PM-5 PM: Mass rally at City Hall. DSA members will assemble at Daley Center Plaza before joining the main rally. Stay updated on rallies by texting SOLIDARITY to 77222.

  • Looking ahead, there will be a Sunday brunch canvass from 10am to 12pm on Sunday. We’ll meet at the CDSA office (3411 W. Diversey Ave). We’ll be talking to folks waiting for brunch around Logan Square. We’ll be like bottomless mimosas of socialism.

Bread for Ed

Bread for Ed will be making and distributing food around the city, so if you have time and resources to help with preparation and/or distribution, please email The material needs of students and striking workers will only escalate the longer it continues.

Locations that will be distributing food tomorrow include:

  • Ald. La Spata, 1958 N. Milwaukee Ave: 10 AM-6 PM

  • Ald. Sigcho Lopez, 1645 S. Blue Island Ave: 8:30 AM until they run out

  • 33rd Ward Working Families, 3248 N. Montrose: 11:30 AM-1:30 PM

  • Centro de Trabajadores Unidos, CTU Office, 10638 S. Ewing Ave: 8 AM-2 PM

  • Taylor Elementary, 9912 S. Avenue H: 8:30 AM-10:30 AM

  • Marsh Elementary, 9822 S. Exchange Ave: 8:30 AM-10:30 AM

  • Bright Elementary, 1074 S. Calhoun Ave: 8:30 AM-10:30 AM

  • Gallistel Elementary, 10347 S. Ewing Ave: 8:30 AM-10:30 AM

Background Information

One of the central divisions between the union and the CPS school board is what the teachers can bargain over. The CTU is asking for contract language around affordable housing (including preventing evictions of students during the school year), sanctuary schools, and sustainable community schools. These demands, plus core educational needs like class size limits, are issues that CPS can choose not to negotiate, thanks to a 1995 bill passed during Republican control of the state legislature that targeted Chicago teachers — and Chicago teachers alone — by dramatically restricting what they’re able to bargain over. The teachers are striking because of this undemocratic law. For more information, see issue #6 of the Red Star Bulletin.

The Red Star Bulletin was conceived by Ramsin Canon and is a project of the Political Education & Policy Committee. This update was drafted by CDSA members. Special contributions were made by Devin Schiff and Nick Hussong. Graphics were contributed by Patrick O’Connell. If you would like to contribute to the Red Star Bulletin or have any feedback, email