CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is turning to the courts to try to put an end to a teachers strike that’s entering its second week and has left parents scrambling to make alternative child care arrangements for at least two more days.
The union and school leaders seemed headed toward a resolution at the end of last week, saying they were optimistic students in the nation’s third-largest school district would be back in class by Monday. But teachers uncomfortable with a tentative contract offer decided Sunday to remain on strike, saying they needed more time to review a complicated proposal.
Emanuel fired back, saying he told city attorneys to seek a court order forcing Chicago Teachers Union members back into the classroom. Continue reading “Chicago teachers strike enters 2nd week”
By TAMMY WEBBER 09/16/12 08:25 PM ET
CHICAGO — The Chicago teachers union decided Sunday to continue its weeklong strike, extending an acrimonious standoff with Mayor Rahm Emanuel over teacher evaluations and job security provisions central to the debate over the future of public education across the United States.
Emanuel said he would seek a court order to end the strike, which he said is illegal under state law.
Union delegates declined to formally vote on a proposed contract settlement worked out over the weekend with officials from the nation’s third largest school district. Schools will remain closed Monday.
Union president Karen Lewis said teachers want the opportunity to continue to discuss the offer that is on the table. Continue reading “Chicago Teachers Strike: Union To Continue Industrial Action Into Second Week”
Teachers Union in Chicago to Extend Strike Into 2nd Week
Published: September 16, 2012
CHICAGO — Leaders of a teachers union extended their strike on Sunday, saying they needed more time to consider a contract deal reached by negotiators over the weekend and forcing 350,000 students around this city to begin a second week without classes.
The decision, which was certain to infuriate City Hall and frustrate parents already weary from juggling day care for a week, dashed earlier hopes that hundreds of public schools around the city might reopen on Monday. It came as a setback to the union’s bargaining team, too, which felt it had secured an agreement its leaders might accept, even if it did not quell every concern voiced at protests across the city over the past week.
“I do what they tell me to do,” Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, said on Sunday, after a majority of nearly 800 union leaders — the House of Delegates — opted to meet again on Tuesday rather than immediately lift a strike in the nation’s third-largest school system. “There’s all kinds of stuff that they’re concerned about,” Ms. Lewis said of the delegates’ reluctance to accept the negotiated deal. “This is the deal we got.” Continue reading “Teachers Union in Chicago to Extend Strike Into 2nd Week”
On Saturday, September 15, 2012, a contingent of striking Palermo workers traveled to Chicago, to march in solidarity with striking educators in the third largest public school system in the country.
“As workers who are also fighting for a greater voice on the job, we know how difficult this decision must have been for CTU to make,” said Raul de la Torre.
Before boarding buses filled with Milwaukee educators and other pro-union allies, striking Palermo’s workers explained to local media why they were going to Chicago. Continue reading “Palermo Workers Stand with Chicago Teachers”
Unions are under attack in the United States—not only from people like Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, but now, with the teachers strike in Chicago, from the very core of President Barack Obama’s inner circle, his former chief of staff and current mayor of that city, Rahm Emanuel. Twenty-five thousand teachers and support staff are on strike there, shutting down the public school system in the nation’s third-largest school district. This fight now raging in Chicago, Obama’s hometown, has its roots in this historic stronghold of organized labor, and in the movement started one year ago this week, Occupy Wall Street. The conflict presents a difficult moment for Obama, who will need union support to prevail in his race with Mitt Romney, but who is inextricably linked, politically, to his brash, expletive-spewing former aide, Mayor Rahm-ney Emanuel.Rahm Emanuel in 2009, when he was President Obama’s chief of staff. (White House/Pete Souza)
At the heart of the conflict is how schools will be run in Chicago: locally, from the grass roots, with teacher and parent control, or top-down, by a school board appointed by Emanuel. Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, worked as a board-certified chemistry teacher at King College Prep High School in Chicago. She understands how the system works. Months before the strike, I asked her about the situation in Chicago. The newly elected Emanuel had an appointed board comprised mostly of corporate executives, the Academy for Urban School Leadership. Lewis told me, “One of the biggest problems is that when you have a CEO in charge of a school system, as opposed to a superintendent, a real educator, what ends up happening is that they literally have no clue as to how to run the schools.” The AUSL not only relies on business executives with no education experience to run schools, but also brings in recent college graduates to teach. These recruits cost very little to pay, but arrive with little or no teaching experience. Continue reading “Mayor Rahm-Ney’s Attack on the Chicago Teachers Union”