After more than 10 months of frustrating bargaining, Chicago teachers are officially on strike, taking to the streets and picket lines instead of the classrooms Thursday morning. The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), which, according to their website, represents more than 25,000 teachers, clinicians, teaching assistants and support staff, has been looking for improvements on class sizes, as well as wages.

Negotiation sticking points range from staffing social workers, school nurses, librarians and teachers for English language learners and special education students to living wages for paraprofessionals, some of whom earn less than $30,000 a year.

“CPS can afford to keep these promises. The district is taking in over a billion dollars in new annual revenue from the State to do exactly what we are asking for in negotiations,” said CTU President Jesse Sharkey in a statement. “And we intend to bargain until we get those commitments in writing in an enforceable contract.”

The teachers union's demands coincide with many talking points from Mayor Lori Lightfoot's campaign. Since she took office, however, many union members have complained that Lightfoot has not held true to her campaign commitment at the negotiating table.

“We want what the mayor promised as a candidate—a school nurse, a social worker and a librarian in every school,” Sharkey said. “We want smaller class sizes for our students, who don’t deserve to compete with forty other children for their teacher’s support. We want the dignity and respect the mayor keeps claiming she has for our teachers, clinicians and support staff.”

Chicago Public Schools says it will be keeping all school buildings open during the strike and will serve breakfast, lunch and supper for students to take home. Students will be supervised in the buildings by administrators and non-union staff.

In an announcement made earlier this month, Mayor Lightfoot did not give assurance that missed school days due to the strike would be made up, which is a move that would represent an unprecedented cut into teacher pay and student instructional time.

“There is zero plan to make up any days that might be lost because of a work stoppage,” Lightfoot said, according to WBEZ News.

While all school-related activities have been canceled due to the strike, Chicago Public Schools Chief Education Officer LaTanya D. McDade released a statement saying PSAT and SAT testing have been pushed back for two weeks “to ensure students have optimum conditions for the…assessment.”