Teachers at 4 charter schools operated by CICS announce strike date

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Teachers at four charter schools operated by Chicago International Charter Schools have announced a strike date.

The teachers, who are a part of the Chicago Teachers Union, said Thursday morning that they will walk out on Tuesday, February 5 if a deal is not reached.

"We are here for our students and for our schools. We are demanding better. We are demanding better from management and from CICS. We know that funding for charter schools increased this past year, funding that should have gone to our classrooms and instead, there was only a small increase on what was spent on students and a lot of money went instead to management," said teacher Jen Conant.

The strike effects teachers at four CICS schools, ChicagoQuest, Northtown Academy, Ralph Ellison and Wrightwood.

CICS said they are hopeful a deal can be reached and that all four schools will remain open during the strike.

In a statement Thursday, CICS said, "CICS values and respects the talented and committed teachers and staff who work tirelessly in support of the 8,300 students attending CICS' 14 campuses. We know that we all come to work for the same reason - our students - and no matter the position, we are driven by the same goal of helping our students to succeed. We will continue to do everything possible to provide the best environment for our students so that they can be successful.

CICS is disappointed that the CTU has chosen to announce this strike and we will do everything we can to minimize the harm to our students and their families. Although CICS is not the employer of teachers at our campuses, and therefore is not directly involved in contract negotiations, we strongly encourage all sides to remain at the bargaining table and forge a path to a fair and equitable agreement.

The following contingency plan will be implemented at the four impacted campuses for the entire length of the strike. CICS' other 10 campuses (Avalon, Basil, Bucktown, Irving Park, Lloyd Bond, Longwood, Loomis Primary, Prairie, Washington Park West Belden) are not affected by the the strike action and should expect no interruption in educational instruction or operations.

-All four campuses will remain open and operate on their normal schedules of 8a-3:30p.

-Principals and non-union staff will support operations at the campuses, ensuring the safety and well-being of students.

-Students who come to school will participate online learning, recreational and arts activities.

-Breakfast and lunch will be provided to all students by food service staff.

-After-school and extracurricular activities will be canceled.

-After care at CICS Wrightwood will continue."
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