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Quick Hit
by Brandon Campbell
12:12pm
Fri Sep 14, 2012

Day 4 Of CTU Strike Targets Pritzker, Use Of TIF Funds

A thread of optimism ran through Thursday, the fourth day of the Chicago teachers’ strike, as both the union and the school board hinted that a deal could be reached by Friday, with a possibility of children heading back to school as early as Monday.

That optimism also extended to yet another downtown rally that brought an estimated 3,000 picketing teachers and supporters outside the Hyatt Regency Hotel at 151 E. Wacker late Thursday afternoon.

Later, the group, lead by a marching band from Morgan Park High School, rallied at a park near Congress Parkway and Michigan Avenue.

There, speakers railed against Chicago School Board member Penny Pritzker, who they say received $5.2 million in TIF – tax increment financing – dollars for a Hyde Park Hotel. The Pritzker family owns the Hyatt Hotel chain. Recently, a group of Chicago teachers called for Penny Pritzker to step down from the school board.

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Quick Hit
by Nathan Greenhalgh
7:20pm
Thu Sep 13, 2012

Teachers Have Their Say About Strike

Although a deal was reportedly near, on Thursday the Chicago Teachers Union strike continued with teachers picketing in front of their schools for improved work conditions.

With numerous honks of support from passing traffic in the background, Progress Illinois spoke with striking teachers in front of Wells Community Academy High School, located on Ashland Avenue on Chicago’s Northwest Side, about why they are striking and what they hope the strike will accomplish.

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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:58pm
Thu Sep 13, 2012

Forum On Women In The Workplace Highlights Role Of Unions In Fight For Fair Employment Practices

Unions have been crucial in helping women get rights, better pay and benefits in the workplace, panelists at a forum in Waukegan stressed Wednesday evening.

With a backdrop of teacher strikes in Chicago and Lake Forest, this forum focused not on endorsing candidates for office, but on dispelling "ignorance" too often associated with unions, according to an organizer with the pro-union group Industrial Workers of the World.

“We are in the fight for our life,” said Helen Ramirez-Odell, a panelist at the forum who worked nearly 44 years as a Chicago Public Schools nurse and is now a CTU district supervisor. “It’s taken a lot to get teachers to this point.”

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PI Original
by Matthew Blake
6:10pm
Thu Sep 13, 2012

"The Union Cannot Strike In Chicago": SB7 And The CTU Strike

While the strike doesn’t mean SB7 has failed, it adds confusion about what’s next in Illinois education policy.

Quick Hit
by Brandon Campbell
10:09am
Thu Sep 13, 2012

CTU Strike Day Three: Teachers Rally As Contract Talks Show Promise (VIDEO)

Day three of the Chicago Teachers Union strike saw simultaneous rallies Wednesday afternoon at three high schools across the city, which brought out thousands of teachers, parents, and children.

Progress Illinois caught up with teachers at John Marshall Metropolitan High School on the city’s West Side during one of the rallies. There, many teachers continued to hammer on the issues of overcrowded classes and their respective schools' lack of resources, like libraries, nurses and social workers, air conditioning, and computers. Yet, none complained of being paid too little or working too many hours.

“Overcrowding’s number one,” said Tony Heinrichs, a first-grade teacher at Falconer Elementary School. “Thirty-some kids in a classroom, it’s ninety-some degrees in the classroom, there’s not a lot of learning going on.”

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