(CBS) — Chicago Public Schools has filed a complaint against the Chicago Teachers Union, asking a state panel to bar members from striking again and to make the labor organization pay the school system’s costs associated with the mass walkout of teachers on Friday.
CPS CEO Forrest Claypool says the school system is asking the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board for a “permanent injunction” that prohibits similar teachers strikes in the future.
“We think it’s important that it be clearly established that whether children are in school and being educated is not subject to the whims of the Chicago Teachers Union leadership,” Claypool said during a news conference Friday afternoon. “It is subject to clear, unambiguous state law.”
In addition, school officials have asked the state labor panel to force the CTU to reimburse CPS and its partner agencies for the expense of hosting children Friday at hundreds of locations.
The state panel could also impose “any other sanctions the board feels appropriate for this kind of law-breaking,” Claypool added.
CPS officials contend Friday’s one-day teachers strike is illegal, but union officials disagree. The union planned Friday’s strike after CPS announced it was forcing employees to take three unpaid furlough days as a way to help balance the budget. Teachers, who last went on strike in 2012, are negotiating a new contract with CPS.
“We disagree,” CTU spokeswoman Stephanie Gadlin said in a response to Claypool’s remarks. “The Supreme Court 60 years ago authorized unfair labor practice strikes under the National Labor Relations Action and we believe teachers have those rights. This was a one day job action. Their charges were filed after the fact.”
Claypool said CPS would not seek to impose a “mass discipline” on rank-and-file teachers who took part in Friday’s walkout. He said the CPS legal action is aimed at union leadership and was prompted by parents frustrated by the walkout.
“We welcome the teachers back Monday and are looking forward to that very much,” Claypool said.