Halloween deal sends Chicago students back to school

After 11 days of canceled classes for over 300,000 students in the Windy City’s public schools, the Chicago teachers’ union strike is over. Classes will resume tomorrow, November 1.

The teachers’ union and the mayor signed off on a five-year contract that includes a 16 percent salary increase for teachers (whose salaries already range from $53,000 to over $125,000) and funding for more support staff, such as additional social workers and nurses.

While the deal was reached late on Wednesday, the strike continued Thursday as the teachers’ union wanted the mayor to make up all missed school days—essentially, missed days of pay for teachers. Mid-Thursday afternoon, the teachers’ union president and the mayor agreed that five school days would be tacked onto the end of the school year. According to ABC7 News,

“In the interest of our students and our parents who have been suffering, it was important to me to make sure that we got our kids back in class. Enough is enough and so, in the spirit of compromise, we agreed,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

The labor agreement still needs to be ratified by the Chicago teachers’ union members in order to become official, and there is concern over how the school district will pay for the deal, which Chalkbeat has reported will likely cost an additional $1.5 billion over five years.

It’s unfortunate the teachers’ union resorted, again, to using students and families as its political pawns. The Chicago teachers’ strike was more than a labor agreement dispute, it was a power play.

According to California teacher Rebecca Friedrichs, unions use strikes to create chaos, and then “place the blame on poverty, parents, school choice, and a lack of funding. Then they call for ‘social justice’ strikes to demand a fix to the problems. The fix? You guessed it! More dues-paying members and more money and power for the unions.”

Friedrichs continues,

The Chicago strike, and the entire “RedForEd” strike movement, is a smokescreen. A deceptive power grab by unions. Their underlying motivation is to use America’s schools and teachers to grow the ranks of union soldiers and haul in billions more in tax-free annual dues to push their far-reaching leftist political agenda. Unions seek to abolish parental authority, introduce more chaos and indoctrinate the next generation of Americans in radical socialist ideals. This puts our republic — and our kids — in danger.