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Chicago Teachers Union holds rally, march

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08

Chicago Teachers Union

Bartosz Brzezinski

Members of the Chicago Teachers Union raise their hands during a rally downtown on Wednesday, May 23, 2012, to oppose an increase in the length of the school day and larger class sizes.

Chicago Teachers Union rally sign.

Bartosz Brzezinski

A sign is displayed from a school bus during the Chicago Teachers Union rally and march on Wednesday, May 23, 2012.

The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) held a rally at the Auditorium Theatre tonight and later marched east on Jackson Boulevard to oppose low salaries for the teachers, larger class sizes, and the lengthening of the school day that will be implement this fall.

Thousands of teachers, students, and their parents voiced their displeasure with Mayor Rahm Emanuel's austerity measures that target the public education system in the city. Signs such as "We are not robots," and "We love our kids, they love our teachers," could be seen in the crowd.

"The mayor is not showing any respect for us," said one teacher.

According to Crain's Chicago Business, the CTU held a press conference May 22 in which it voiced some of its demands to the city government.

On the list of things was a 30 percent across-the-board wage increase for teachers, as well as a plan for better allocation of money to attract high-skilled teachers into the city's school system.

The union also opposes longer school days and Emanuel's push for larger class sizes, saying, "an average teacher already puts in around 58 hours a week."

Marching down Jackson, Dolly Taval, history teacher at Edward's Elementary School, said she came down tonight to show support for other public school teachers, students, and their families.

"We're hoping that maybe Mr. Rahm Emanuel will get the picture and that he has to support our schools," she said. "It's important that the government gives the teachers the respect that they deserve."

Her husband Darren Beasley, former public school teacher and DePaul alum, said monetary investment in the education systems is a necessity.

"I believe that the administration needs to understand that teachers are the hope for the future," he said. "If we don't invest in our children's education, we might as well as give up on all these theories about the growth of our society. That's plain and simple."

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