WASHINGTON – American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. today issued the following statement expressing AFGE’s solidarity with striking Chicago teachers and school staff:
“Chicago educators are fighting for a fair contract that will put students on a path for success. They are demanding smaller class sizes so students receive more attention and assistance, full staffing of nurses and librarians and other essential support personnel, and enhanced protections against student bullying and other abuses that hinder learning. AFGE members stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in the Chicago Teachers Union, American Federation of Teachers Local 1, and the Service Employees International Union 73 who have gone on strike.
“Chicago is hardly the only school system facing staffing and resource shortages. Over the past year, we have seen teachers and school staff in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arizona, Colorado, Los Angeles, and elsewhere walk off the job to demand better conditions for themselves and the children they are entrusted to teach. They are literally fighting for our nation’s future, and we stand beside them every step of the way.
“Teachers across this country are telling lawmakers that our children deserve well-funded schools, with decent class sizes, up-to-date textbooks and computers, furniture that isn’t falling apart, and regular classes in art, music, and physical education.
“Starving our schools of the resources they need to function does a grave disservice not just to our students and educators but to the future of our country. Our teachers and our children deserve much better, and we are indebted to the teachers and staff who have taken great risks to fight for this most important issue.”