Thousands of teachers in New York and Chicago remained on strike on Wednesday (10 September) in protest at pay and staff cut backs planned by their local education boards to reduce costs.
LV Closed New York schools. (3 shots)
CU Sign placard saying "on strike"
LV AND CU Strike pickets with placards PAN TO protest sings.
LV AND CU Strikers parading with placards outside school. (4 shots)
LV AND CU Chicago teachers strikers parading with placards, in front of county jail building. (4 shots)
SV AND CU Jailed man Norman Swenson seated with reporter. (2 shots)
LV PAN DOWN Strikers outside jail.
Initials VS 22.10 VS 22.25
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Background: Thousands of teachers in New York and Chicago remained on strike on Wednesday (10 September) in protest at pay and staff cut backs planned by their local education boards to reduce costs.
In New York, hundreds of schools were closed ini the nearly bankrupt city as the teachers refused to give ground on long standing contract provisions that are regarded as expensive by the city's Board of Education.
The board wants the teachers to waive their right to sick pay and paid special study leave. They are also being asked to agree to a reduction in the number of free periods when they don't have to teach.
But the United Federation of Teachers say the cuts would force them to work in classes of 45 students or more in violation of their contracts.
New York's position is further complicated by the city's financial crisis. It's already surrendered control to special agencies and the New York State Government.
But the State has refused to intervene in the negotiations and reports New York teachers' union head Albert Shanker as saying "it will be a very, very long strike." Previously Mr. Shanker has led a 15-day stoppage in 1967 and a 36-day strike a year later.
Meanwhile, in Chicago on Wednesday (10 September) striking teachers marched on the City's Cook County Jail to protest the imprisonment of the City College Teachers Union President, Norman Swenson.
Mr. Swenson was sentenced to five months in prison for contempt of a court order banning the city college teachers strike. He told a reporter in an interview at the prison, that jail was his only choice. He said that the authorities have already increased the size of same classes, are trying to sack some teachers and already reduced salaries.
Mr. Swenson said that the teachers were forced to strike to preserve their self respect and forecast other teachers would go to jail rather than call off the strike.
Thousands of students are affected by the stoppage which has spread to involve thousands of high school and elementary school teachers too.
As in New York, officials say that no progress is reported between the two sides.