Chicago mayor to seek court order
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel asked a judge Sunday to declare a teachers’ strike illegal as union officials countered by extending the classroom walkout until at least Tuesday to give themselves more time to consider a proposed deal. Union negotiators had presented the tentative contract offer to their 29,000 rank-and-file members, but the teachers declined to vote Sunday, preferring to wait until Tuesday to decide whether to call a vote to end Chicago’s first teachers’ strike in 25 years. A frustrated Emanuel ordered city lawyers to seek a court order forcing the teachers back into the classroom, charging the union is using students as “pawns in an internal dispute.” “This was a strike of choice and is now a delay of choice that is wrong for our children,” Emanuel said in a statement. The tentative deal would base teacher evaluations in part on student success in the classroom and give laid-off teachers a leg up on open jobs in the district.
“While the union works through its remaining issues, there is no reason why the children of Chicago should not be back in the classroom as they had been for weeks while negotiators worked through these same issues,” Emanuel said.