Chicago Teachers Scheduled To Vote On Contract

Eight hundred union delegates will meet in Chicago today to vote on whether to end a teachers’ strike that has kept about 350,000 students from school for seven days.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the Chicago Teachers Union’s House of Delegates is scheduled to meet at 4 p.m. ET. to review a tentative deal reached last week.

The Tribune reports that some of the teachers walking the picket line expressed optimism:

“‘In our meetings yesterday, it’s apparent we’re optimistic that we will return,’ said Mary Mark, a CPS speech language pathologist, who fears that if the union is on strike much longer, support for the teachers will shift.

“‘We realize that by going out, we’re diminishing our power, but on the other hand, we don’t want to strike so long that we turn the tide of support. We all need to get back to work and the kids need to get back in school,’ Mark said.”

As Mark told us yesterday, if the union decides to continue with its walkout, a court will consider a petition from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to intervene and issue an injunction that immediately brings the strike to an end. The court is scheduled to hear the petition on Wednesday.

The New York Times spoke to some of the delegates and found a mixed response to the tentative deal. The Times adds:

“In interviews, delegates’ views on the proposal seemed to range widely and gave few hints whether Karen Lewis, the union’s president, had gathered a consensus behind the deal, which she had earlier deemed good if imperfect.

“Some said they wanted to get back to school right away, while others said they needed more time to study provisions of the contract. Some said they simply did not like what they saw on issues like pay, evaluations and a wellness program.”

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