CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when a strike will happen.
Tomorrow the Chicago Teachers Union is holding a special meeting to confirm a strike date that gives them the option of walking out as early as October 11.
As CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports, if they do, they’ll have fewer numbers on the picket lines because some teachers are choosing to leave the district.
A devoted special ed teacher, Dan Rosenberg spent four years at Lindbloom, in the classroom, and on the soccer field.
“I loved Lindbloom…really where my teaching career began,” Rosenberg said. “The people at Lindbloom are phenomenal. The students come in every day ready to learn…ready to be engaged. I really enjoyed it.”
But he left.
Rosenberg now teaches in the suburbs. He says he was one of 12 teachers who didn’t return to Lindbloom. Most were replaced.
While Union leaders don’t have exact numbers they tell us Lindbloom is just one example of teacher flight. The reasons vary, but a constant theme is fear. The fear of being cut. The fear of losing their jobs.
CPS laid off more than 1,000 teachers but many were rehired. Those choosing to leave, like Rosenberg also remember the strike of 2012.
Rosenberg said having gone through a strike in 2012 he didn’t want to do it, “…enough to make me look for a job outside the district,” Rosenberg said. “Every teacher in the system went to school so they could be in the classroom not so they could sit out on the picket line and hold a sign.”
If there is a picket line, even though Rosenberg won’t be there, he wants his fellow teachers to know he supports them.
“They just want the respect and dignity a teacher deserved,” he added.
Sources tell CBS 2 Union leaders and school board officials are meeting almost every day to reach an agreement and avoid a strike.