Several hundred teachers and allies protest at Chicago's City Hall on first of four 'furlough days'...
Several hundred Chicago Teachers Union staff, union members, and supporters joined together to protest at Chicago's City Hall on February 3, 2017, the first of four 'furlough days' imposed on school workers by Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Forrest Claypool.
"Enough is enough!" declared Michael Brunson, the Chicago Teachers Union recording secretary. Brunson was speaking at a press conference and rally organized by the union on Friday, February 3, 2017, inside Chicago's City Hall. February 3 day was the first of four "furlough days" recently imposed by Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool to cut the pay of CPS teachers and staff.
The protest against the furlough days and other budget cuts imposed by Claypool was organized by the CTU. Brunson pointed out the racist and sexist impact of Claypool's cuts, which fall most heavily on female members of the workforce, such as school clerks, and on neighborhood schools where the students tend to be Black and Latino.
Another speaker at the rally was State Rep. Will Guzzardi. Guzzardi asked the crowd of more than 200 Chicago Teachers Union members and supporters to help him fight for fair funding from the state government for public education. He said there are many causes of the budget crisis that is hurting public schools, but "the most immediate cause is Governor Bruce Rauner." Not only did Rauner veto legislation that would have funded Chicago Public Schools pensions, but when the governor does support funding for public education, the funds go disproportionately to richer and whiter school districts, not to CPS and other needy school districts serving ethnic and racial minorities, Guzzardi said.