Liberty Justice Center represents a group of parents who are standing up to the Chicago Teachers Union, after more than 300,000 students were locked out of in-person learning at Chicago Public Schools on January 5, 2022. The union engaged in an “illegal strike” by refusing to teach in-person, so we filedGolden v. Chicago Teachers Union.
By refusing in-person instruction, Chicago teachers are violating both Illinois law and the Chicago Teachers Union’s own contract. Teachers may only work remotely with the approval of the Chicago Board of Education, which has not been given. By refusing to teach under the conditions established by Chicago Public Schools, teachers are engaging in an illegal strike.
”CTU’s resolution calling members to not show up for work in-person is a strike regardless of what CTU calls it and violates both the collective bargaining agreement with CPS and Illinois law,” said Jeffrey Schwab, senior attorney at the Liberty Justice Center. “CTU cannot unilaterally decide what actions should be taken to keep public schools safe, completely silencing parents’ input about what is best for the health, safety, and well-being of their children.”
There are conditions under which teachers can strike – the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act outlines the necessary criteria – but the Chicago Teachers Union and its members have failed to meet any of them, including providing sufficient notice of intent to strike to failing to get buy-in for their actions from three-fourths of its members.
Chicago teachers’ refusal to honor the terms of their teaching contract is hurting hundreds of thousands of Chicago students and their families and will have long-term effects. “Throughout this entire pandemic, our kids have paid a tremendous price for adults’ mistakes and miscalculations, and now the teachers’ union has hastily and recklessly put them on their political roller coaster again,” said Laurel Golden, lead plaintiff in the lawsuit and a CPS parent. “The science is clear, and so is the desire of parents: Our kids need and deserve to be in school. This illegal strike must be ended immediately, and we must get kids back into the classroom.”