Acero charter school teachers set Dec. 4 strike date

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago's Acero charter school teachers announced Wednesday morning they will strike on December 4.

"These are our schools and if we have to shut them down to make our employers do what's right, we'll do that," said Chris Baehrend, chairman of the Charter Division of the Chicago Teachers Union. "This is about changing the charter industry and putting student and teacher voices at the forefront."

The teachers say negotiations this week haven't produced a fair contract. This will be the nation's first charter school strike. Union members authorized a strike in a vote last month.

Fifteen Acero schools will be affected. Teachers are demanding salaries equal to those paid in district run schools and more resources for their students.

In a statement, Acero Schools said: "While we are disappointed at the strike announcement, we are not entirely surprised. Based on statements the CTU has made, there is a real focus on making an example out of charter schools. We still have four bargaining sessions scheduled this month and Acero Schools is deeply committed to arriving at a mutually agreeable solution. We won't leave the bargaining table until this is resolved."
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