Hundreds Of Acero Charter School Teachers Strike

Mike Krauser
December 04, 2018 - 11:37 am

WBBM Newsradio/Mike Krauser

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- About 7,500 Chicago Charter School students are out of classes on Tuesday as teachers walk picket lines.

Members of the Chicago Teachers Union broke off talks shortly after midnight with the UNO/Acero charter network. This is the first time in the country that a group of charter school educators have walked out in a labor dispute.

More than 500 teachers and support staff at 15 schools operated by the Acero Charter School Network, formerly known as UNO, are on strike.

Chris Baehrend, of the Chicago Teacher’s Union, said, “we are here to change the way the charter industry operates.”

For too long, he said, the industry has been more about enriching leaders, not giving teachers the tools they need to educate children.

WBBM Newsradio/Mike Krauser

Issues include pay, class size, the number of Special Education teachers and sanctuary schools, which would ban agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement in school buildings.

Chicago Teacher’s Union President Jesse Sharkey said, “we’re going to stay on strike until we get educational justice.”

He said the two sides are continuing to negotiate during the strike.

Randi Weingarten, President American Federation of Teachers, joined picketing teachers Tuesday morning outside a building housing two schools on the city's Southwest Side.

She said, teachers “need to have better conditions” so they can do their jobs.

Teacher Rachael Koracki-Weir said she would rather be in class, but said that’s up to Acero.