Chicago Teacher’s Strike: “So Close” to an End, Classes Resume Monday?
Sep 14, 2012 03:01 PM EDT
Its day five of the Chicago's teachers strike and according to the chief education adviser for Chicago Public Schools the union and the district officials are close to settlement.
"We are tired, but we are so close... "It's not a lot (left to discuss), but what I find is, it's very difficult to separate the issues," Barbara Byrd-Bennett, Chief Advisor for CPS told Reuters.
A settlement was supposed to be reached Thursday but complications related to "number crunching," delayed the discussion to Friday.
Like Us on Facebook
According to reports, the union and district might come to terms before the House of Delegates vote to end the strike later Friday.
On Monday, for the first time in 25 years in Chicago as many as 25,000 public school teachers went on strike over contract issues between the union and the school district officials.
After failed negotiations on Sunday, teachers gather to picket over contract disputes mainly related to teachers' accountability, health benefits and performance evaluations et al according to the Christian Monitor.
CBS News reports that both parties (the Union and district officials) had nearly reached a settlement with regards to wages. The report indicates that the average public school teacher in Chicago earns $71,000 annually. According to district officials, teachers were offered a 16 percent salary increase, which was double an initial offer.
Union President Karen Lewis told CBS News, "We have failed to reach an agreement that will prevent a labor strike."
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel said, "We will make sure our kids are safe, we will see our way through these issues and our kids will be back in the classroom where they belong," he went on to add that he was "disappointed" by the Union's decision to go on strike, according to the Christian Monitor.
In a conference on Monday at Maranatha Church, Emmanuel told reporters that the strike could have been avoided calling it a "strike of choice," and then acknowledging the devastating the effects the strike can have on the already stressed Emmanuel administration, "I've got enough challenges. I wasn't looking for another challenge," as reported by the Chicago Tribune.
Chicago is the third largest school district in the country. Now the city struggle to keep more than 400,000 children occupied.