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VIDEO: CTU vice president speaks to strikers following Lightfoot’s budget address

On the fifth day of the Chicago Teachers Union strike, hundreds of strikers blocked traffic outside City Hall and turned Clark and Randolph streets into seas of red.

“They are out here because they want better for the students that they are with Monday through Friday,” said Stacy Davis-Gates, vice president of CTU. “This is just. This is right.”

In the face of stalled negotiations between the city, CTU and the Service Employees International Union, the strike continued outside City Hall Wednesday as Lori Lightfoot delivered her first budget address as mayor of Chicago.

As reported by Chicago Talks, Lightfoot’s budget address laid out plans for reforms to the Chicago Tax Increment Financing Program and increased pensions for fire and police personnel; however, plans for school financing were absent from her speech, as was any mention of the striking crowd outside.

After the budget address, several speakers took the stage in front of strikers outside the James R. Thompson Center. Multiple aldermen spoke to strikers, as well as local activists and Davis-Gates.

“The inconvenience is when they don’t have it,” said Davis-Gates about schools’ access to services. “The inconvenience of getting it — that’s justice.”

For more of Davis-Gates’ Wednesday speech, watch the video below:

After 14 hours of contract negotiations on Saturday, talks between the city, CTU and SEIU continued Sunday. Late Sunday, a deal was reached between the city and SEIU, the Chicago Tribune reported, but a deal had not yet been reached with CTU.  Classes remained canceled Monday, Oct. 28.

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