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Second City teachers threaten strike and demonstration

Unionized teachers and others at Second City Educational Center said Tuesday that they had authorized the strike and that if their employers refuse to bargain further, the walkout and walkout would begin Jan. 16 and set up a picket line near the comedy company’s theaters. They will ask spectators not to cross the picket line.

The dispute involves members of the International Association of Comedy Educators (AICE), which is part of the Illinois Federation of Teachers. Instructors, music directors, and corporate facilitators negotiate a contract with Second City’s representatives. current ownerZMC, a New York City-based private equity investment firm, has been around for about two years.

“We’ve been in this business long enough,” the union said in a statement Tuesday.

A Second City spokesman said the company had put its “best and final offer” on the table. “This includes 31% more pay for our teachers and 21% more pay for all our union members over the three-year term of the agreement,” he said in a December statement. “It’s time to move forward.”

Second City’s actors and stage managers are individually represented by the Actors’ Equity union. Second City is in the final stages of opening a new theater complex in Brooklyn, New York.

Chris Jones is a Tribune critic.

cjones5@chicagotribune.com

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