Rahm Threatens Chicago Teachers Union With An Injunction

Either way, this is a loss for Rahm. He's painted the teachers as money-hungry slugs, and now he wants to file for an injunction on the basic that they 're not really fighting over money (which is the legal basis for the strike): Chicago

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Either way, this is a loss for Rahm. He's painted the teachers as money-hungry slugs, and now he wants to file for an injunction on the basic that they 're not really fighting over money (which is the legal basis for the strike):

Chicago (CNN) -- The week-old teachers strike in Chicago's public schools will continue into the new week, after a special committee of the Chicago Teachers Union decided not to suspend the strike days even though union leaders and school officials reached a tentative contract deal.

The move left Mayor Rahm Emanuel vowing to go to court to force teachers back to work, calling Sunday's actions by the union "a delay of choice that is wrong for our children."

The mayor announced in a statement that he's asked city lawyers "to file an injunction in circuit court to immediately end this strike." He contended the strike is illegal because "it is over issues that are deemed by state law to be non-strikable, and it endangers the health and safety of our children."

"I will not stand by while the children of Chicago are played as pawns in an internal dispute within a union," Emanuel said.

Representatives from the teachers' bargaining team detailed the proposed contract to the committee, called the House of Delegates, in a meeting Sunday afternoon. But Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said that, after extensive debate, the delegates said they wanted more time to discuss the contract with union members.

The special committee will reconvene Tuesday, at which point delegates could decide to end the strike -- or not. If they do, classes could resume at earliest on Wednesday. And even if the strike is ended, the 29,000-member union's rank-and-file would still have the opportunity at some point to accept, or reject, the proposed contract.

As of Sunday, though, Lewis said a "clear majority" of union delegates did not want to suspend the strike given the proposed contract.

"They are not happy with the agreement," Lewis said.

The proposed settlement includes the following:

  • 600 additional art, music, physical education and world language teachers.
  • Prep time for paraprofessionals and clinicians.
  • Teacher evaluations limited to 30% of the student test scores.
  • Up to $250 reimbursement for school supplies, which are often out of pocket for teachers.
  • Additional wrap-around services, including hiring of nurses, social workers and counselors.
  • Books on day one for teachers and students. Teachers had to wait for up to six weeks for materials to arrive
  • Defeating merit-pay for teachers. (Note – studies show merit pay does not work).

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