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Teachers at last 2 charter schools reach agreement, ending strike

Teachers at three Chicago charter schools went on strike last week. | Stefano Esposito/Sun-Times

Teachers at the Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy and Instituto Justice Leadership Academy reached a tentative agreement with their schools Monday night, ending their strike.

The teachers at IHSCA and IJLA, which included both teachers and clerical staff, “won decreases in class sizes, sanctuary language to protect the schools’ overwhelmingly Latinx and immigrant student population and contract protections for English language learners and special education students,” the CTU said. The strike was suspended just before 11 p.m. Monday.

The deal also includes better wages and improved staffing ratios for social workers, counselors, nurses and psychologists, as well as union recognition for clerical staff who had not been previously represented by the teachers union, the CTU said.

“IHSCA and IJLA are relieved to have reached a tentative agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union that will allow our more than 800 students to be back in the classroom on Tuesday,” the schools said in a news release.

CTU members at IHSCA, IJLA, Latino Youth High School, Youth Connection Leadership Academy and the Chicago High School for the Arts held a rally after school on May 1 demanding increased pay and benefits on par with their Chicago Public Schools counterparts, smaller class sizes and increased support for students, including better staffing and protections for immigrant students.

Teachers at Youth Connection and ChiArts reached agreements with their schools before the start of the next school day. IHSCA and IJLA, operated by the Instituto del Progreso Latino, and Latino Youth, run by Pilsen Wellness Center, went on strike. Latino Youth reached an agreement with its teachers late Sunday.

IHSCA and IJLA teachers and students will return to the classroom Tuesday.

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