Chicago teachers strike enters 2nd week


Chicago teachers strike enters 2nd week

SOPHIA TAREEN and TAMMY WEBBER | September 17, 2012 08:56 AM EST |

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”

UPDATE 4-Chicago mayor, teachers move to end strike


UPDATE 4-Chicago mayor, teachers move to end strike

Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:50am IST

* Deal could end strike in time to resume school on Monday

* Union group to meet Sunday to vote whether to suspend strike

* Emanuel forced to retreat on sweeping school reforms

By Mary Wisniewski and Greg McCune

CHICAGO, Sept 14 (Reuters) – A week-long confrontation between Chicago public school teachers and Mayor Rahm Emanuel moved toward resolution on Friday as the two sides reached a tentative agreement that could end a five-day strike and clear the way for classes to resume on Monday in the third-largest U.S. school district.

More than 350,000 Chicago students have been out of school since the beginning of the week after some 29,000 Chicago teachers and support staff walked off the job over Emanuel’s education reforms.

Negotiators announced that they had reached an agreement in principle on all issues. Talks were set to continue through the weekend to put the tentative accord into legal language so core teachers union activists could see it on Sunday, they said. Continue reading “UPDATE 4-Chicago mayor, teachers move to end strike”

Teacher evaluations at center of Chicago strike


Teacher evaluations at center of Chicago strike

SOPHIA TAREEN | September 13, 2012 08:04 AM EST |

CHICAGO — Educators in Los Angeles just signed a new deal with the city’s school district. So, too, did teachers in Boston. Both require performance evaluations based in part on how well students succeed, a system that’s making its debut in Cleveland.

So what’s the problem in Chicago, where 25,000 teachers in the nation’s third-largest district have responded to an impatient mayor’s demand that teacher evaluations be tied to student performance by walking off the job for the first time in 25 years?

To start, while Chicago’s teachers have drawn the hardest line in recent memory against using student test scores to rate teacher performance, contract agreements in other cities – including those reached this week in Boston and Los Angeles – have hardly come quickly or with ease. They were often signed grudgingly, at the direction of a court or following negotiations that took years. And mayors and school officials have also won over reluctant teachers by promising to first launch pilot projects aimed at proving a concept many believe is inherently unfair.

“It has been a very tough issue across the country,” said Rob Weil, a director at the American Federation of Teachers, one of the nation’s two largest teachers’ unions. “Teachers in many places believe that they see administrations and state legislatures creating language and policies that’s nothing more than a mousetrap.” Continue reading “Teacher evaluations at center of Chicago strike”

Dems duck labor fight in Chicago

By Bernie Becker – 09/12/12 05:00 AM ET

Congressional Democrats from Illinois are treading carefully around the teacher strike in Chicago, underscoring the political squeeze the situation has created for President Obama.

Chicago-area Democrats — including several who have relatives in the school system — refrained from taking sides in the strike on Tuesday, saying that both they and the White House should give city leaders space to hash out an agreement.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), who has not been shy in criticizing Obama in the past and endorsed one of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s opponents, repeatedly told The Hill that he wanted his grandson back in the classroom as soon as possible.

“I did multiplication tables with him yesterday and we had gym and I did math. I’m sure like others, we’re struggling with the situation,” Gutierrez said. “I hope everyone sits at the bargaining table and resolves it as quickly as possible.” Continue reading “Dems duck labor fight in Chicago”

With No Contract Deal by Deadline in Chicago, Teachers Will Strike

With No Contract Deal by Deadline in Chicago, Teachers Will Strike

Sitthixay Ditthavong/Associated Press

Members of the Chicago Teachers Union distributed strike signs as the deadline approached.

By Published: September 9, 2012

CHICAGO — Union leaders for this city’s public schoolteachers said that they would strike on Monday morning after negotiations ended late Sunday with no contract agreement between the union and the nation’s third largest school system, which have been locked for months in a dispute over wages, job security and teacher evaluations.

Coming as the school year had barely begun for many, the impasse and looming strike were expected to affect hundreds of thousands of families here, some of whom had spent the weekend scrambling to rearrange work schedules, find alternative programs and hire baby sitters if school was out for some time.

Chicago Public Schools officials, visibly frustrated after talks broke off late Sunday night, expressed concern for the estimated 350,000 students the strike could affect. Continue reading “With No Contract Deal by Deadline in Chicago, Teachers Will Strike”

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