Chicago Indymedia :
Chicago Indymedia

LOCAL News :: Labor

City College Student Strike Support Information

As teachers head to the picket lines, students are organizing solidarity actions in support of Local 1600
Students from three city colleges met today at Harold Washington to begin strike solidarity for the embattled full time teachers. As the administration has not budged on health care premiums and workload, it is now a fact that teachers will be forced to the picket line across the city on Tuesday, October 19.

In an effort to weaken or break the strike, college administrators are calling on students to cross picket lines and attend class while the full time teachers are outside. Part time teachers may be having class during this time but in no way are students obligated to attend. Any statement to the contrary by teachers or administration is simply a ruse to use students as strikebreakers.

The students that came together today in support of their teachers are calling for a total student walk out of classes and for the Board of Education to cease its attacks on teacher’s health care and work load and to give the teachers a contact without concessions. To this end students will be supporting picket lines and helping to shut down the city colleges until a fair agreement is reached.

There is a concern among students that there could be retribution for honoring the picket lines and not attending class. Although this concern is real, the creation of any kind of retribution or loss of class work will be fought by the union and the student strike committees at the colleges. If a part time teacher is administering exams or giving assignments without offering students the ability to make up either, report the action immediately to the Department Chairperson. From there a grievance procedure will be taken up by the union and student strike committees until work is allowed to be made up. NO ONE WILL SUFFER ACEDEMICALLY FOR SUPPORTING THEIR TEACHERS IN THEIR FIGHT FOR A FAIR CONTRACT!

The meeting today at Harold Washington was attended by about twenty students while a similar meeting was called at Malcom X College. Tomorrow students at Truman are encouraged to attend the first meeting of the student strike committee for that school. The meeting will be held at The Best Steak House at noon, located on the southwest corner of Broadway and Wilson. The meeting will have an update on negotiations and consider different actions for students to help with the strike effort.

BY SHOWING SOLIDARITY AND SUPPORT FOR OUR TEACHERS, HONORING THE PICKET LINES, AND STAYING OUT OF CLASSES, WE WILL FORCE A MUCH QUICKER RESOULTION TO THIS ADMINISTRATIVE IMPASSE. If we decide to cross the picket lines for a temporary solution to our class work we only succeed in weakening our teachers, increasing their class load, prolonging the strike and undermining the very education we are attending school for. No one but management benefits from larger class size and overworked teachers. With an administration so top heavy already, (one administrator to every two teachers) teachers are not being greedy by asking to simply hold on to the benefits they have. As the student body of the Chicago City Colleges, we need to be strongly supportive of their efforts.

Cliff Willmeng
Truman Student Strike Committee

For more information about the strike and how to get involved regardless of the college you attend, please email Strike_TrumanCollege2004 (at) We will get your information to a strike committee at you college and plug you into the work needed to make this strike as brief and successful as possible.



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