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Casimir Pulaski

Teachers strikes roiled schools for decades

Teachers strikes roiled schools for decades

Chicago has experienced such a remarkable streak of strike-free school years, it is easy to forget how rancorous teacher-school board relations once were in the city. The last time Chicago teachers walked out was 25 years ago. Yet before that 1987 strike, the threat was a near-annual event; from 1969 through 1987, there were nine work stoppages, ranging from two days in 1985 to the 19-day marathon in 1987. Classes didn't resume until Oct. 5. Teachers generally fought for higher pay, better benefits, smaller class sizes and sometimes a school holiday. In the 1985 stoppage, the teachers won a 6 percent raise — and Casimir Pulaski Day. Labor disputes weren't unique to Chicago....

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