CTU Is Optimistic About Acero Teachers Strike

Bob Roberts
December 08, 2018 - 10:51 am
Acero teachers strike

WBBM Newsradio/Bob Roberts

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Union leaders are voicing optimism about the Acero charter-school network teachers strike.

One of the teachers' biggest complaints has been that Acero CEO Richard Rodriguez has been absent from the talks. About a half-dozen politicians, led by U.S. Rep.-elect Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, said at a CTU news conference Saturday morning that Rodriguez must come to the table now and negotiate the remaining issues -- or resign.

However, after the cameras packed up , Union President Jesse Sharkey said Rodriguez reached out to the union Friday evening.

“You should know that at 10 o’clock last night that I got a phone call from someone who had just gotten off the phone with Richard Rodriguez , ” he said.  “And the fact that Richard Rodriguez is calling people late at night on Friday, reaching out to the CTU, is a good sign.  That means they’re looking for an off-ramp.”

Sharkey gave no hint as to what that “off-ramp” might be, but he said only two issues remain, both big ones --- pay and class size.  He called Acero’s labor board complaints “pathetic,” said they will take months to resolve and said they will have no impact on the strike.

Teachers took to the picket lines for the fourth day Saturday as officials at the network took moves to stop the strike.

The Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times are reporting that Acero filed complaints Friday with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board and National Labor Relations Board against the Chicago Teachers Union. The complaint filed in Cook County argues the strike is illegal because teachers didn't follow mediation or notice requirements.

Union officials say the walkout isn't illegal. 

The strike at Acero's 15 charter schools follow months of failed contract negotiations and comes amid an increase in educator activism nationwide. It is believed to be the first strike at any of the privately run, taxpayer-funded schools in the United States.

The article also contains material from The Associated Press. (© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)​