Oct. 2 (UPI) — Thousands of Chicago school teachers and public workers have voted to walk off the job, probably this week, to strike for better pay and more resources.
Three different unions voted Tuesday in favor of the walkout and notified the city of their strike plans. If all the unions strike at the same time, it would cause a shortage of about 35,000 workers.
“The city of Chicago could face three strikes … in the month of October,” Dian Palmer, president of a union representing Chicago Park District employees, said.
The teachers union, which has 25,000 members, voted last month to strike and said it could begin as soon as Monday.
The parks union said it has negotiated with district officials for several months, during which time parks officials offered a 2 percent pay raise — but already gave senior management 20 percent raises this year.
Parks supervisor and union member Sean Ortiz called the district’s officer “measly.”
“There’s no excuse for having park workers that have put years into the parks and are still getting part-time pay with no benefits,” he said.
If the teachers walk off the job, Chicago would join a growing list of cities that have been affected by large-scale education strikes. Teachers in California, Colorado, Arizona, Kentucky, Oklahoma and West Virginia have all staged walkouts in the past year to secure better pay and classroom funding.