Students and teachers in Chicago headed back to the classroom after the Chicago Teachers Union, and the nation's third-largest school district, averted a strike with a late-night tentative contract agreement.  The union had been prepared to hit the picket lines this morning for what would have been the second major Chicago Public Schools strike since 2012. 

Flickr Creative Commons/Jean Paul Holmes

Chicago teachers are picking up signs and T-shirts as they prepare for a potential strike.  Members of the Chicago Teachers Union are set to hit the picket lines at 6 a.m. Tuesday if union negotiators and Chicago Public Schools officials don't strike a tentative deal on a new contract.

Flickr Creative Commons/Shutter Stutter

Teachers in the country's third-largest city have cranked up the heat in contract talks, threatening to go on strike in less than two weeks.  The Chicago Teachers Union and school district officials are clashing over cost-of-living raises, pension contributions and health care costs in negotiations that have stretched into a second year. 

Teachers in the nation's third-largest public school district have overwhelmingly voted in support of a strike, though the earliest one could occur is mid-October.   95% of the Chicago Teachers Union's voting members favored strike authorization.   The support was expected. About 88% supported a strike during a similar December vote. 

The spotlight is on contract talks between teachers and officials with the nation's third-largest school district as Chicago students attend the first day of school.  Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool and Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, both held public appearances today. 

URBANA, Ill. (AP) - A faculty union at the University of Illinois' Champaign-Urbana campus plans a five-day strike after contract talks with the school Wednesday ended without a settlement. 

Shawn Gilmore is president of the Nontenure Faculty Coalition Local 6546. He says union members voted "overwhelmingly" Wednesday evening to authorize a five-day strike. The strike is to start Thursday with picketing is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. at the English Building. The union went on a two-day strike earlier this month.


Members of the union representing non-tenure-track faculty at the University of Illinois went on strike Tuesday morning, launching a two-day work stoppage.  Union President Shawn Gilmore says  there's been a lot of support from solidarity partners, as Local #6546 seeks a greater voice for its members and longer contracts.

The union is trying to push the administration towards a quicker agreement on a first-ever contract for non-tenured faculty at the Urbana campus.

Top administrators at the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign campus say they want to continue negotiating with non-tenured faculty members on a contract.

The Democrat-led Illinois Senate has approved a measure that would allow an outside arbitrator to settle state-employee wages and working conditions if union negotiations reach an impasse.

Illinois mayors want more independence from state

Feb 23, 2016

Cities in Illinois want their financial ability to be a factor in labor contract negotiations.  Union workers in public safety jobs, like police officers and fire fighters, can collectively bargain, but they can't strike. 

Illinois lawmakers are once again considering an intervention in state labor negotiations.  Contract talks have stalled between Illinois' biggest government labor union AFSCME  and Governor Bruce Rauner.  

The question of whether talks between Governor Bruce Rauner's administration and the state's largest union AFSCME have reached an impasse is in the hands of the state's labor relations board. 

A Chicago Public Schools official says the district will lay off some of its central office staff on Friday.  The announcement comes a day after Republican legislators called for a state takeover of the financially troubled school district. 

Chicago Teachers Union members overwhelmingly have voted to authorize their leaders to call a strike, although a final decision on a walkout would be months away.

The Chicago Teachers Union says official vote totals for a strike authorization will likely be available early next week. CTU's contract expired over the summer, but talks haven't progressed.

UPDATED 10/1/15: UAW Local 2488 members have canceled a strike authorization vote against Mitsubishi Motors. This story will be updated. 

Less than two months before production is supposed to end at the Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Union officials have scheduled a strike authorization vote. That doesn't mean a walkout will happen. But, as the contract is set to expire tomorrow night, negotiators have apparently reached an impasse on issues.

A government labor union says it's “positive” the Illinois House will side with it over Governor Bruce Rauner. A key vote on whether to override Rauner's veto of a union-backed bill is expected tomorrow. 

United Auto Workers vote on strike

Sep 1, 2015

Workers at the Ford Plant on Chicago’s Southeast side started voting this morning on whether to go on strike. The United Auto Workers Local 551 represents some 4300 workers who make the Explorer and Lincoln MKS.

Governor Bruce Rauner making an urgent appeal to lawmakers to uphold his veto of a measure he called the "worst" he's ever seen, on the eve of a possible vote.  

Gov. Bruce Rauner asks lawmakers to "let me do my job" and continue negotiating.

A union representing more than 1,500 registered nurses is planning a strike at University of Chicago Medical Center to call attention to issues during contract negotiations.  National Nurses United says the strike will start Thursday at 7 a.m. 

U of I Urbana officials weigh in on Chicago strike

Feb 19, 2014

A 2-day strike by faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago isn’t deterring the efforts of some at the school’s flagship campus to unionize:

Fast-food workers strike in Peoria

Dec 5, 2013

Fast-food workers in Peoria staged walk-outs for the second time this year to push restaurant chains to pay higher wages.  Employees at McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s also were striking for the right to form a union without retaliation or unfair labor practices.  Delilah Hill works at the Burger King on University.  She says a boost in pay would give employees a higher standard of living:

Some fast-food customers in search of burgers and fries Thursday ran into striking workers instead. Thousands of workers around the country staged walkouts, including in Peoria and Bloomington, to push restaurant chains to pay higher wages.

State AFSCME union talking possible strike

Feb 19, 2013

The state's largest public employees' union is talking more about a strike.  Henry Bayer, Executive Director of the AFSCME union, says contract talks with the governor's office are going nowhere.  IPR’s Sean Crawford reports.  

Bayer says a strike is a real possibility,  and he says Governor Quinn is the catalyst.  Bayer says Quinn's termination of the union's previous contract and his attempts to force cuts in pay and benefits has workers ready to go on the picket line.