Though teachers strike is over, implications still unclear

Not all education reform advocates were impressed with the deal Emanuel agreed to.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel secured an extension of Chicago’s school day and empowered principals to hire the teachers they want. Teachers were able to soften a new evaluation process and win some job protections.

As students returned to the classroom Sept. 19 after a seven-day teachers strike, both sides found reasons to celebrate victory. But neither the school-reform movement nor organized labor achieved the decisive breakthrough it had sought. And whether the implications extend beyond Chicago might depend on the next case having a similar cast of characters and political pressures.

Unions hoped the walkout would prove they were still relevant, and some education reform groups were disappointed with the city’s concessions.…Read More

Chicago teachers strike for first time in 25 years

Thousands of Chicago teachers walked off the job Monday for the first time in 25 years, after union leaders announced they were far from resolving a contract dispute with school district officials, the Associated Press reports. The walkout in the nation’s third-largest school district posed a tricky test for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who said he would work to end the strike quickly.

“This is not a strike I wanted,” Emanuel said Sunday night, not long after the union announced the action. “It was a strike of choice … it’s unnecessary, it’s avoidable and it’s wrong.”

Some 26,000 teachers and support staff were expected to join the picket. Among teachers protesting Monday morning outside Benjamin Banneker Elementary School on Chicago’s South Side, eighth-grade teacher Michael Williams said he wanted a quick contract resolution.…Read More

Chicago teachers vote to strike on September 10 if no deal

The Chicago Teachers Union voted on Thursday to allow its first strike in 25 years starting on September 10 in the nation’s third-largest school district if negotiators cannot reach a contract with city officials, Reuters reports. The strike would start during the second week of classes for most of the system’s more than 400,000 students. The last Chicago teachers’ strike lasted four weeks in 1987. The union representing more than 26,000 teachers and other professionals wants improved job security, a raise, a new curriculum and a nearly 20 percent increase in instructional time, following a push by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for a longer school day. Public schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard has said that with a projected $3 billion deficit over the next three years, the school system cannot afford the raise the teachers want…

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Vote could push Chicago closer to teachers strike

Angry that one promised raise disappeared and that they’re being asked to work longer days without what they consider to be an adequate pay increase, Chicago teachers are considering authorizing their first strike in a quarter-century, the Associated Press reports. In a signal of their mounting anger, teachers are voting this week — before a summer of negotiations and a recommendation from an independent fact-finder — on a strike that wouldn’t happen until the next school year starts. If they do authorize a strike, teachers in the nation’s third-largest school district would be leaving the final decision in the hands of union leaders.

“This is a reflection of the treatment we as teachers have been subjected to this year … that the posturing of the board of education has created such misery and suffering and discontent that we needed to send a message,” said David Rose, a teacher at Roberto Clemente Community Academy…

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