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Topic: Negotiators have 'framework' to end Chicago strike
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 13,733
Registered: 12/3/04
Negotiators have 'framework' to end Chicago strike
Posted: Sep 14, 2012 5:47 PM
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From Yahoo News / Associated Press. Friday, September 14, 2012. See
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/negotiators-framework-end-chicago-strike-194148817.html
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Negotiators have 'framework' to end Chicago strike

Negotiators reach 'framework' to end Chicago teachers strike; classes
could resume Monday

By Don Babwin

CHICAGO (AP) -- The city's nearly weeklong teachers strike appeared
headed toward a resolution Friday after negotiators emerged from
marathon talks to say they had achieved a "framework" that could end
the walkout in time for students to return to class Monday.

Both sides were careful not to describe the deal as a final contract.
They expected to spend the weekend working out details before union
delegates are asked to vote on the package, probably sometime Sunday.

Chicago School Board David Vitale said the "heavy lifting" was over
after long hours of talks placed "frameworks around all the major
issues."

The school district and union negotiators "put things on the table
over the last few days to help each other" and put schools on track
to reopen next week, Vitale said.

"Our kids are going to get the time they need in this school year,
and they're going to get the time they need in the school day. And
our teachers are going to get the respect they deserve for their hard
work with our kids," he added.

Robert Bloch, an attorney for the Chicago Teachers Union, said union
leaders updated delegates on the progress at a meeting Friday
afternoon.

"It's been a very difficult agreement," Bloch said. "This has been
one of the most difficult labor contracts negotiated in decades. Many
of the core issues of the contract have been worked out, but not all
of them."

About 15 minutes after union President Karen Lewis entered the
delegate meeting, delegates could be seen through the windows
cheering and applauding, some on them on their feet and pumping their
fists in the air.

Journalists were not allowed inside, and there was no way to know
what they were applauding.

The walkout, the first by Chicago teachers in 25 years, canceled five
days of school for more than 350,000 public school students who had
just returned from summer vacation.

The union's demands included a plan for laid-off instructors to get
first dibs on job openings and for a teacher-evaluation system that
does not rely heavily on student test scores.

The strike by more than 25,000 teachers in the nation's third-largest
school district idled many children and teenagers, leaving some
unsupervised in gang-dominated neighborhoods. It also has been a
potent display of union power at a time when organized labor has lost
ground around the nation.

The union has been trying to win assurances that laid-off but
qualified teachers get dibs on jobs anywhere in the district. But
Illinois law gives individual principals in Chicago the right to hire
the teachers they want, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel argues it's unfair to
hold principals accountable for their schools' performance if they
can't pick their own teams.

The district offered a compromise. If schools close, teachers would
have the first right to jobs matching their qualifications at schools
that absorb the children from the closed school. The proposal also
includes provisions for teachers who aren't hired, including
severance.

It wasn't immediately clear if the union had accepted the proposal.

Readers of the Sun-Times opened the paper Friday to a full-page
letter to Emanuel written by the Boston Teachers Union.

In the letter, the union reminded readers that some of the things
Chicago teachers are fighting have long been available to Boston
teachers, including the right to let teachers with seniority move
into jobs in other schools if their schools close down.

Perhaps more significantly, the union took Emanuel to task for the
contentiousness of the negotiations, putting the blame on the mayor's
shoulders.

"Perhaps you can learn from us - and begin to treat your own teaching
force with the same respect," the union wrote.

Meanwhile, Chicago teachers said they were planning a
"Wisconsin-style" rally for Saturday, regardless of whether there is
a deal on the contract.

The union has won widespread support from other teachers unions
around the country, and a couple of hundred Wisconsin teachers
planned to come to Chicago to join the event.

"It's really sort of a spontaneous kind of organizing," said Bob
Peterson, president of the Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association,
which unsuccessfully sought the recall of Gov. Scott Walker.

The walkout is the first by Chicago teachers in 25 years. A 1987
strike lasted 19 days.
-------------------------------------
SIDEBAR: Following negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union,
Chicago Board of Education President David Vitale leaves after
speaking to reporters on Friday, Sept. 14, 2012 in Chicago. After a
week of public school teachers striking over issues that include pay
raises, classroom conditions, job security and teacher evaluations,
Vitale said the district and teachers union have agreed on a
''framework'' to end the strike. (AP Photo/Sitthixay Ditthavong)
*************************************************
--
Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
625 Wham Drive
Mail Code 4610
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610
Phone: (618) 453-4241 [O]
(618) 457-8903 [H]
Fax: (618) 453-4244
E-mail: jbecker@siu.edu



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