Welcome to the second 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.
FRIDAY / WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS
The second day of the strike built on the immense support shown throughout the city on day one.
Friday saw another strong showing on the picket lines, with DSA members turning out to 11 CDSA-adopted schools. Picketers near Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s house discovered that she’d left out donuts, and made clear what they thought of her hollow platitude.
Day two saw another mass action with thousands of teachers and supporters descending on the Loop for a rally in Daley Plaza and march down LaSalle St. CDSA-member, and 40th Ward Alderman, Andre Vasquez posted a picture thread showing the action on the ground.
Additionally, Bread for Ed continued their incredible work, not only on Friday but throughout the weekend, preparing, coordinating, and distributing food to striking teachers and students. One of the day’s biggest efforts was getting food trucks in Washington Square Park for hungry union members.
Over the weekend, community groups including the Chicago Teachers’ Union and Staff Solidarity Campaign held events such as a protest at the Lincoln Yards block party on Saturday, which called out the city for continuing to subsidize gentrifying real-estate development projects with TIF money that should instead be invested into essential services, like those CTU and SEIU 73 are demanding.
CDSA’s solidarity efforts have not gone unnoticed.
CONTRACT BARGAINING UPDATE
CTU bargaining leaders were skeptical about the city’s willingness to reach a deal after Mayor Lightfoot preemptively canceled school Monday before the weekend bargaining sessions had finished. The two sides didn’t reach a deal as of this writing Sunday evening and so the teachers will return to the picket line Monday.
SEIU is also no closer to reaching a deal and will return to the picket line Monday.
ACTIONS FOR MONDAY, OCTOBER 21
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 will run from 6:30am to 10:30am daily as the strike continues. Check out tinyurl.com/cpsstrikesupport to learn more.
CDSA 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)
Strike Day Monday: Rally in Solidarity with CTU & SEIU Local 73, from 2pm-5pm at Union Park (Ashland and Lake) More info here.
BREAD FOR ED
Bread for Ed will be making and distributing food at various areas around the city, so if you have time and resources to help with preparation and/or distribution, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please consider helping out with coordination or distribution, as the material needs of students and striking workers will escalate as the strike continues.
Locations that will be distributing food tomorrow include:
DuBois Elementary School- 6:30am (330 E 133rd St.)
Walsh Elementary School- 6:30am (2015 S Peoria St.)
Neighbors for Andre Office- 11am-3pm (2406 N Bryn Mawr)
Some demands by teachers and staff that have been criticized by the media and the city as “asking too much” are actually efforts to regain basic rights and dignities taken away by years of systematic legal barricades and the erosion of essential services by Republican and Democratic administrations. In our previous update, we touched on how the areas which CPS must negotiate with CTU were limited by Illinois Republican state legislators in a way that targeted CTU exclusively. CPS employees are obligated to live within city limits, but many cannot afford to meet rising housing prices on poverty-level salaries. This led the CTU to demand housing assistance. Subsidies for housing are offered to police and firefighters; public school teachers and staff deserve the same treatment.
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 email@example.com.