Our View: Teachers strike continues
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Teachers in the nation’s third-largest school district headed into a crucial vote Sunday that could have ended its week-long strike over a proposed contract that received mixed reviews and led to cancelled classes for more than 350,000 students.
The contract gave teachers annual raises over three years and offered some laid-off teachers a first shot at jobs in other schools, but many teachers were still unhappy with some of the wording in a rough outline provided by the Chicago Teachers Union late Saturday.
Now, the strike continues Monday as the union’s House of Delegates refused to halt the walkout and sent the work stoppage into its second week. Union president Karen Lewis said the delegates could vote to end the strike as early as Tuesday, meaning classes would not resume before Wednesday and increasing frustration for thousands of parents and guardians.
We understand union members want additional time to digest the details of the contract offer, but we hope they are minding the huge ripple effect of their actions. Parents have scrambled to keep their children occupied and students are falling more and more behind. The continuation of the strike is even more upsetting, since union leadership implied that Sunday’s vote was a formality and classes would resume Monday.
The union’s more than 700 delegates have the authority to formally end the strike but not to approve the contract. The union’s full membership of about 26,000 teachers and paraprofessionals will have an opportunity to vote on the contract in the coming weeks. We hope both sides can reach an agreement before the contract vote, so that students and parents aren’t continually punished.
The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board whose names are listed above.