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Affordable housing among striking Chicago teachers' demands

Dozens of Chicago Teachers Union members and supporters march through the streets of Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood during the "Nurse in Every School" Solidarity March for Justice on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune via AP)

CHICAGO — Demands by striking Chicago teachers include more action to lower housing costs in the nation’s third-largest city and more resources to help homeless students.

The demand for affordable housing citywide is a dramatic example of organized labour’s effort to expand bargaining beyond bread-and-butter issues.

After months of negotiating, the Chicago Teachers Union’s 25,000 members began striking Thursday along with thousands of support staff.

Chicago teachers want officials to commit to supporting state or city policies aimed at lowering housing costs for their members and students’ families. Experts said they didn’t know of any other cities where teachers forced discussion of housing costs as part of a contract.

Neither negotiating team has discussed any progress on housing issues as the strike cancelled classes for a third day on Monday.

Kathleen Foody And Don Babwin, The Associated Press