Calling the Chicago teachers’ strike “illegal,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel asked for a court order to force teachers back to work, but a Cook County Circuit Court judge refused to hear the case till Wednesday, reports the Chicago Tribune. Union delegates will meet Tuesday to discuss the proposed deal.
“State law expressly prohibits the CTU from striking over non-economic issues, such as layoff and recall policies, teacher evaluations, class sizes and the length of the school day and year,” the Chicago Public Schools motion states. “The CTU’s repeated statements and recent advertising campaign have made clear that these are exactly the subjects over which the CTU is striking.”
In addition, the strike is “a clear and present danger to public health and safety,” the motion states.
Rick Hess analyzes the politics of the strike in week two. Chicago Teachers Union leader Karen Lewis “is becoming the anti-Michelle Rhee for teachers who’ve yearned for a fire-breathing anti-evaluation, pro-LIFO champion,” he writes. While she looks strong, Emanuel is “losing traction.”
In the fight against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Democratic reformers had argued “you could get dramatic reforms without changing the rules around collective bargaining.”
If even Rahmbo can’t follow through on tough-minded school reforms, while offering more pay in a tough economy, it’ll raise questions about the seriousness of less combative Dems.
In the long run, it’s bad for the unions if Democrats “decide they have to choose between teacher quality and working with unions,” Hess concludes.