CHICAGO (CBS) — Staff members from Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Park District hand-delivered strike notices to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office at City Hall Tuesday.

 

About 7,500 Chicago Public Schools staff members, which includes everything from custodians to special education classroom assistants, could strike by Oct. 17. The workers, represented by SEIU Local 73, authorized a strike by a 97% vote in July.

Employees said they are sick of what they call poverty wages and they are willing to strike for better pay and benefits.

A group protesting chanting “Lightfoot get on the right foot” at City Hall Tuesday morning.

Approximately 2,500 park district staff also represented by SEIU authorized a strike by a 94% vote last week. Those park workers, who want raises and better benefits, could be striking by next week.

If the Park District and CPS staff represented by SEIU go on strike, and the Chicago Teachers Union also walks out later this month, Chicago Public Schools parents would not be able to drop their kids off at schools and parks.

“If you don’t take care of your workers, we won’t be doing good work because we are too busy stressed out about our day-to-day life because we can’t survive in the city,” Bekcy Kliber, a Chicago Park District employee, said.