This morning, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) filed a complaint in the Circuit Court of Cook County seeking a preliminary injunction that would end the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) strike immediately and return Chicago's students to the classroom. Last night, after the CTU chose to delay ending their strike, Mayor Emanuel instructed the City's Corporation Counsel to work with the General Counsel of CPS to seek an injunction.
The verified complaint seeks a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction that would seek to end the strike immediately based on two counts:
- Count One: The CTU strike is illegal. State law expressly prohibits the CTU from striking over non-economic issues, such as layoff and recall policies, teacher evaluations, class sizes and the length of the school day and year. The CTU's repeated statements and recent advertising campaign have made clear that these are exactly the subjects over which the CTU is striking.
- Count Two: The strike is a clear and present danger to public health and safety. It prohibits students from receiving critical educational and social services, including meals for students who otherwise may not receive proper nutrition, a safe environment during school hours and critical services for students who have special needs.
CPS is seeking relief for the sole purpose of getting teachers and students back into the classroom; the verified complaint does not ask any entity to weigh in on the content of the contract.
Last night, the Mayor stated: "I will not stand by while the children of Chicago are played as pawns in an internal dispute within a union. This was a strike of choice and is now a delay of choice that is wrong for our children. While the union works through its remaining issues, there is no reason why the children of Chicago should not be back in the classroom, as they had been for weeks while negotiators worked through these same issues."
Ex Parte Motion For Appointment of Special Process Server
Preliminary and Permanent Injunction and Damages
Notice of Motion
Plaintiff's Verified Motion for Temporary Restraining Order
Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiff's Verified Motion for Temporary Restraining Order
Chicago Public Schools serves 402,000 students in 675 schools. It is the nation's third-largest school district.