November 19, 2019 / 8:06 PM / 2 months ago

Factbox: Wave of labor actions by teachers shut U.S. schools

(Reuters) - Thousands of teachers in Indiana packed into the state capitol on Tuesday to demand higher pay, the latest in a wave of labor actions by educators across the United States over the past few years.

Candy Handy, Chair of the health and physical education department at Central High School in Indianapolis dances on the steps of the Capitol Building as teachers hold a one day walkout at the statehouse in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S. November 19, 2019. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston

Teachers across the country have marched out of the classroom, forcing districts to cancel school for millions of students, both to seek higher wages for themselves and to push for additional support staff and resources in their school systems. The following are some of the previous labor actions by teachers around the United States.


Tens of thousands of teachers went on strike in October in Chicago to demand more money to ease overcrowded classrooms and more support staff, in addition to seeking a wage increase for the district’s 25,000 teachers. Schools were closed for some 300,000 students for 11 days until the teachers’ union reached a tentative settlement with district officials on Oct. 31.


Teachers in the state went on a two-day strike in February to protest a bill that could bring taxpayer-funded charter schools to the state. Their union blasted the bill as an act of retaliation for a nine-day strike in March 2018 that secured higher pay for teachers.


The union for more than 30,000 striking Los Angeles teachers clinched a tentative contract deal with the second-largest U.S. school district in January after a weeklong walkout of educators. In June, teachers went on strike for three weeks in Union City.


Teachers walked off the job in April 2018 for nearly two weeks, seeking more money for schools devastated by years of funding cuts and to bolster their salaries, which had ranked among the lowest in the nation. The strike ended after the Republican-dominated state legislature passed its first major tax hike in a quarter century that raised about $450 million in revenue for education.


Tens of thousands of Arizona teachers held a week-long walkout in April 2018 that kept most of the state’s 1.1 million public school students out of class. On May 3 of that year, Arizona’s governor signed a budget bill to boost teachers’ wages by 20% over the next three years.

Reporting by Maria Caspani in New York; Editing by Scott Malone and Bill Berkrot

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