Teaching Profession

Chicago Strike Still On as CTU Delegates Mull Deal

By Stephen Sawchuk — September 16, 2012 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Delegates to the Chicago Teachers Union deferred a vote Sunday on whether to end a strike that began Sept. 10. They indicated they needed more time to digest the details of a proposed deal with the school district.

The next delegate meeting is scheduled for Tuesday. Classes for some 350,000 Chicago students aren’t likely to resume before Wednesday.

“Our members are not happy,” CTU President Karen Lewis said, according to the Associated Press. “They want to know if there is anything more they can get. They feel rushed.”

The setback came unexpectedly, with officials having signaled late last week that classes could probably resume on Monday.

Details of the proposed agreement are still unclear, with the district and the union each putting out releases that framed the results in terms of its own priorities.

The union, for example, noted the hiring of new teachers and some limited “recall rights” for teachers (see this update). But Sunday afternoon, the Chicago district presented the provisions in a different light. In a summary sent to journalists, it noted that principals would still have full say over which teachers to hire in their buildings. That’s technically correct, but they’d be selecting from a pool that has half new and half previously laid-off teachers.

And while the union said that the proportion of a teacher’s evaluation based on measures of student academic growth would be limited to the state-mandated level of 30 percent, the district noted that a joint union and district committee could potentially approve raising that proportion to 35 percent in the contract’s fourth year and more beyond that.

The contract would last for three years, unless the district and the union together approved a fourth.

Local polls showed last week that a plurality of the public and a slight majority of parents approved of the union’s strike. But with at least two more days of no school, it’s an open question at what point public patience will wear thin.

Chicago school board President David Vitale said in a statement, “There is no reason why our kids can’t be in school while the union reviews the agreement. Just as we have said this is a strike of choice, this has become a delay of choice. Our kids cannot be used as pawns in internal union disagreements.”

UPDATED, 9:15 p.m.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to seek a court injunction to end the strike; he’ll argue that many of the issues contested, such as teacher evaluation, weren’t mandatory areas of bargaining to begin with. See this previous item for more information.

Photo: Chicago Teachers Union delegates arrive for a meeting on Sept. 16 to review a proposed contract and vote on whether to suspend the teachers’ strike, which has kept more than 350,000 students out of school. (Sitthixay Ditthavong)

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.

Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession Opinion ‘A Culture of Care’: How Schools Can Alleviate Educator Stress This Year
It takes more than deep breathing to alleviate the stress teachers feel. Here's how to get to the root cause.
Sean Slade & Alyssa Gallagher
6 min read
shutterstock 740616958 resized
Teaching Profession Reported Essay Students Aren’t the Only Ones Grieving
Faced with so many losses stemming from the pandemic, what can be done to help teachers manage their own grief?
4 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Teaching Profession We Feel Your Grief: Remembering the 1,000 Plus Educators Who've Died of COVID-19
The heartbreaking tally of lives lost to the coronavirus continues to rise and take a steep toll on school communities.
3 min read
090321 1000 Educators Lost BS
Education Week
Teaching Profession Letter to the Editor Educators Have a Responsibility to Support the Common Good
A science teacher responds to another science teacher's hesitation to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
1 min read