( 4UMF NEWS ) Chicago Teachers Union Strike Continues:
The Chicago Teachers Union will continue its week-old strike in the nation’s third-largest city, extending an acrimonious standoff with Mayor Rahm Emanuel over teacher evaluations and job security provisions.
Emanuel said he would seek a court order to end the strike, which he said is illegal under state law.
Karen Lewis, president of the 25,500-member union, said teachers want the opportunity to continue to discuss the offer that is on the table.
“Our members are not happy,” Lewis said. “They want to know if there is anything more they can get.”
She added, “They feel rushed.”
The union was considering a proposed contract giving teachers annual raises over three years and offering some laid-off teachers a first shot at jobs at other schools.
Officials from the union and school district met until late Saturday to work out the exact language of a contract after announcing Friday that they had reached the “framework” of an agreement that could return 350,000 students to the classroom.
Many teachers were still unhappy with the wording of some of the contract provisions contained in a rough outline provided by the Chicago Teachers Union late Saturday, said second-grade teacher Julie McDevitt. The contract gives teachers annual raises, but doesn’t restore a 4% raise that was rescinded last year.
Teachers also expressed concern about overcrowding, scarce office supplies and an evaluation procedure they said was too heavily based on student test scores.
“Some teachers are saying no, and some are saying this is pretty good, let’s do this,” McDevitt said.
The union’s 800-member House of Delegates met to consider the contract proposal and whether to suspend the walkout that began Monday. Chicago teachers hadn’t gone on strike in 25 years.