Karen Lewis: '100 percent' chance of Chicago teachers strike

- Parents of Chicago school children are starting to come to grips with the possibility of a teachers' strike later this spring.

Union President Karen Lewis won't say whether a strike is more likely this spring or next fall.

A strike would not occur until late may at the earliest, but parents are worried.

“No teacher ever wants to go on strike. This is not a joyous occasion,” Lewis said.

Teacher's union president Karen Lewis says as of Monday, a teachers strike is a one hundred percent certainty. But she also admits the situation could change day by day.

The union rejected an independent factfinders recommendation, which means any time after May 16, it can file a ten-day notice to go on strike.

Lewis calls CPS's current proposal "silly" and filled with draconian cutbacks in salaries, pension and benefits.

“These people want their cake and they want to eat it too. They want to stand on us. Put their boots on our necks, and then tell us we have to like it. And that's not acceptable,” Lewis said.

“What we've offered is an incredibly generous deal given the fact that the district is near insolvency. In fact the independent third party fact finder said exactly that. It is a fair deal,” said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool.

CPS schools are on spring break this week, and on Monday playgrounds all over the city were filled with parents who had planned for this vacation, but admitted they don't have plans to handle a strike.

Tim Jennings works nights. He was able to be with his daughter today, but isn't sure what he would do if teachers walk out.

“I just have to work my schedule around it. That’s what's going to have to happen. But hopefully they can resolve it,” Jennings said.

Sean Wallace used vacation days at work to be with his children this week.

FOX 32: What do you do with them if the teachers go on strike?

“That's a good question. Because right now I work a full time job, their mom has a full time job, and they're at the daycare before they go to school. That's a really tough question, right now, I don't know,” Wallace said.

That’s just one of many tough questions facing parents, teachers and CPS leaders. Twenty eight days to go.

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