Chicago schoolteachers went on strike for more than three days while 350,000 students are out of school. The Chicago Teacher Union (CTU) went on strike because they are demanding job security, teacher evaluations, and benefits.
Its president, Karen Lewis, leads the CTU. Officials from the mayor’s office believe students could return to school as early as Monday. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the union are in the works of a negotiation, but so far nothing has come of it.
Thousands of teachers gathered outside of their schools and met downtown to protest with parents and supporters. The media, such as CNN and MSNBC noted that the strike was well organized and that teachers were eager to share their stories with reporters and list their demands.
From a PR perspective both sides are using social media to get their point across and draw support from the public. They have both stated to the media that they want the best for the students and that they are very important in this matter, which is why the issues need to be resolved quickly.
It was reported that Emanuel said, “Don’t take it out on the kids of Chicago if you have a problem with me.” This is a smart PR move because who would want to take their frustrations out on the children? With this move, the public was more sympathetic towards Emmanuel.
In my opinion, the CTU has more successful PR efforts because they have really made a buzz. They had an organized stance, reached out to the media, and had a lot of extra support. However, from a PR point of view I like that Emanuel told the media how he worked on finding a solution quickly for the sake of the children.
I want to know what you think of the issue. Have you heard about the strike? Who do you think had the best PR efforts?