Stories by Brandis Friedman

Strike Day 2: City Wants 10-Hour Daily Bargaining Sessions With CTU

Chicago Public Schools teachers formed picket lines for the second day Friday as the city and Chicago Teachers Union continued contract negotiations.

As teachers hit the picket lines for the second day, the city called on Chicago Teachers Union leaders to spend more time at the negotiating table in order to reach a deal. 

Contract Bargaining Wraps Up With No Deal Between CTU, Board of Education

This Sept. 10, 2012 file photo shows Chicago teachers walking a picket line outside a school in Chicago, after they went on strike for the first time in 25 years. (AP Photo / M. Spencer Green, File)

Time is running out for Chicago Public Schools to reach a deal with the Chicago Teachers Union on a new contract. 

CPS Teachers, Staff Rally and March as Strike Countdown Continues

Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey speaks during a rally Monday.

Negotiators took a break from the bargaining table Monday as thousands of teachers and school staff rallied in hopes of securing what they called a “fair contract.” 

As Teachers Strike Nears, CPS and CTU No Closer to Contract Deal

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey appear on “Chicago Tonight,” separately, on Thursday, Oct. 9, 2019.

After another day of bargaining, negotiators for Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union appear no closer to averting a planned Oct. 17 teachers strike.

What’s Next in Lead-Up to a Chicago Teachers Strike?

This Sept. 10, 2012 file photo shows Chicago teachers walking a picket line outside a school in Chicago, after they went on strike for the first time in 25 years. (AP Photo / M. Spencer Green, File)

The Chicago Teachers Union has set a strike date of Oct. 17, but the deadline for the city to come to a deal with the 25,000-member union may be sooner.

House Committee Holds Hearing on Gun Violence in Chicago

Several members of the Illinois congressional delegation heard testimony Thursday about gun violence, and legislation aimed at addressing it.

Chicago Teachers Union Sets Oct. 17 Date for Strike If No Deal Reached

Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey speaks with WTTW News on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019.

The Chicago Teachers Union says members will walk off the job in two weeks if a deal with the Chicago Board of Education can’t be reached.

Chicago Teachers Union Members Vote to Authorize Strike

File photos of Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson, left, and Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey. (WTTW News)

Ninety-four percent of Chicago Teachers Union members voted to authorize a walkout, according to preliminary results announced Thursday night at the CTU headquarters.

Dancing Down Memory Lane Before the Curtain Falls on ‘Hamilton’ Chicago

The company of “Hamilton.” (Courtesy of Joan Marcus)

Three years ago this week, Chicago audiences were introduced to the smash hit musical “Hamilton.” We catch up with two original cast members of the Chicago production.

Local Rehab Hospital Turns Gun Violence Victims into Able Survivors

Jonathan Annicks works with staff at Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital. (WTTW News)

Chicago police say shootings and homicides last month were at their lowest point since 2011. But for many survivors of gun violence, physical injuries and trauma can last a lifetime. We visit a local hospital treating many of those victims.

Early Learning Providers Concerned About New City Funding Contract

(Skitterphoto / Pixabay)

The city is making changes to the way neighborhood early learning centers receive funding, and some providers say the changes are destabilizing to families and communities.

Mars Wrigley Internship a Sweet Gig, but Not All Goodies and Gumdrops

Cindy Mancilla spent her summer working at the headquarters of candy magnate Mars Wrigley. And though the company hires hundreds of interns across its various departments, this internship takes the cake – and gives back.

Sister Jean, America’s Favorite Basketball Nun, Turns 100

Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, better known as Sister Jean, celebrates her birthday with fans and special guests at Loyola University on Aug. 21, 2019. (WTTW News)

Loyola University is celebrating the centennial of Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, better known as Sister Jean, all week. Gov. J.B. Pritzker helped kick off celebrations Wednesday.

Amid Contract Negotiations, CPS Teachers Gear Up for New School Year

Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey speaks about contract negotiations Tuesday, Aug. 20. (WTTW News)

Teachers at Chicago Public Schools still have no contract deal with the Board of Education, and have repeatedly threatened to walk off the job. And another controversy is brewing within their ranks.

‘Hamilton’ Exhibition Brings 18th Century Life into 2019 Reality

“Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, left, and exhibition designer David Korins speak with WTTW News at “Hamilton: The Exhibition.”

Peek inside the soon-to-close, 25,000-square-foot “Hamilton” exhibition on Northerly Island and hear from the man who brought Alexander Hamilton back to life: Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Lightfoot’s CPS Budget Proposes Millions for Upgrades, Improvements

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks to reporters at a press conference to release the district’s budget proposal on Aug. 8, 2019. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot unveils her first budget proposal for Chicago Public Schools – and it comes as she negotiates a new contract with the Chicago Teachers Union.

CTU Prepares for Contract Fight with New Mayor

Chicago Teachers Union members hold a rally in the Loop on Wednesday, May 22, 2019. (WTTW News)

Chicago Teachers Union members call on Mayor Lori Lightfoot to make good on promises for educational equity. Meanwhile, upheaval at a Chicago Public Schools board meeting.

Lightfoot Keeps Police and Schools Chiefs, Makes Additional Appointments

Janice Jackson, left, appears on “Chicago Tonight” on April 19, 2018. Eddie Johnson, right, speaks during a news conference Tuesday, March 26, 2019. (AP Photo / Teresa Crawford)

On her first full day in office, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a number of leaders who will serve in her administration, as well as several senior staff members.

Like a Boss: Hair Care Entrepreneur Shares Experience as a Black Businesswoman

Five years after launching her organic hair-care company with a single product, Monique Rodriguez’s Mielle Organics now has 46 products in more than 100,000 retail stores. 

The Report From Court? Too Few Court Reporters

They play a key role in court proceedings, but industry experts say there aren’t enough of them. What it takes to become a court reporter – and why some say it’s a good alternative to a four-year degree.

Voter Turnout for Historic Runoff on Pace With February Election

As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 370,000 Chicago residents had cast their ballots for the city’s next mayor, treasurer and, in some wards, alderman. 

Illinois Senate Approves Bill to Raise Smoking Age to 21

(Kruscha / Pixabay)

A year after lawmakers approved an identical bill that was vetoed by then-Gov. Bruce Rauner, senators vote 39 to 16 to raise the age from 18 to 21 for the legal purchase and use of tobacco products and e-cigarettes.

Don’t Want Kids? New Chicago Startup Helps Provide Free Birth Control

A Mirena intrauterine device (Sarahmirk / Wikimedia Commons)

A new Chicago startup called Juno4Me connects women with free birth control from reputable health care providers. 

1898 Silent Film Represents Earliest Depiction of On-Screen Black Love

A still image from the 1898 silent film “Something Good-Negro Kiss.”

How a recently discovered film shot in Chicago more than 120 years ago still makes a powerful statement – without saying a word.

Behind the Curtain of the Joffrey’s Newest Production, ‘Anna Karenina’

For the first time in its history, the Joffrey Ballet cues up an entirely new score for its daring new production. We get a peek at the company’s creative process – and personalities.

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