The city claims the strike is focused on non-economic issues, which teachers are prohibited from striking over, and that the strike "a clear and present danger to public health and safety," with Mayor Rahm Emanuel accusing the teachers of using students as "pawns" because they have not ended the strike before seeing full details of their proposed contract.
Delegates just didn’t trust Chicago Public Schools not to try to slip one over on them if they called off the first CTU strike in 25 years without more study and discussion of the offer, [union President Karen] Lewis said.Considering teachers were stripped of a negotiated raise last year, their lack of trust is understandable. The idea of looking at details before making a decision may be foreign to Chicago School Board members, though; Joanne Barkan highlights a University of Illinois at Chicago Collaborative for Equity and Justice in Education report (PDF) finding that not only do school board members typically not attend hearings on school closings, but don't even necessarily read transcripts of the hearings before voting on whether to close schools.
“Please write ‘trust’ in big giant letters because that’s what the problem is,’’ Lewis said.
The union's 800 delegates are taking Monday and Tuesday to talk over the outlines of the deal with the members they represent; the details are expected to be finalized Tuesday, allowing them to vote on ending the strike based on more than just an outline. The union's entire membership will then vote on whether to accept the contract.