The children lose…all 350,000 of them. Another week of no school while the Chicago Teachers Union fights for more money and Rahm goes to court for an order to end the strike. The Chicago mayor accused the union of using the city’s students as “pawns in an internal dispute”.
Chicago teachers uncomfortable with a tentative contract offer decided Sunday to remain on strike, insisting they needed more time to consider whether to end an acrimonious standoff with Mayor Rahm Emanuel that will keep 350,000 students out of class for at least a few more days.
Emanuel fired back Sunday night by instructing city attorneys to seek a court order forcing Chicago Teachers Union members back into the classroom. “This was a strike of choice and is now a delay of choice that is wrong for our children,” he said in a statement. …
But in a statement, Emanuel was typically blunt. He accused the union of using the city’s students as “pawns in an internal dispute.” He said the strike was illegal because it endangers the health and safety of students and concerned issues that state law says cannot be grounds for a work stoppage.
“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,” he said.
The walkout, the first for a major American city in at least six years, canceled classes for students who just returned from summer vacation and forced tens of thousands of parents to find alternatives for idle children, including many whose neighborhoods have been wracked by gang violence in recent months.
With an average salary of $76,000, Chicago teachers are among the highest-paid in the nation. The contract outline calls for annual raises, but it doesn’t restore a 4 percent raise that was rescinded by the mayor last year.