Is the Chicago Teacher Strike Illegal?

Law only allows strikes over pay and benefits, but there's a lot more to this fight


With the Chicago teacher's strike entering its third day, both sides appear determined to settle matters behind closed doors and not in a courtroom, even though the city has authority to take the fight there – though at significant political risk, legal experts say.

Although untested in the courts, a provision added to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act last year could prohibit teachers from striking on all matters except compensation involving pay and benefits. The walkout, which started Monday, appears to be about a broad range of issues, many of which have little to do with wages.