Bloomberg News

Emanuel Seeking Injunction as Teachers Continue Striking

September 16, 2012

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel tonight vowed to seek a court injunction to force teachers back to school after their union declined to suspend its week-old strike in the nation’s third-largest city.

“I will not stand by while the children of Chicago are played as pawns in an internal dispute within a union,” Emanuel said, asserting that the walkout was illegal because it’s over issues that state law deems “nonstrikable.”

The union’s House of Delegates declined today to vote and wants to continue discussing the offer from Emanuel’s school board, said Karen Lewis, president of the 30,000-member organization.

“Write the word ‘trust’ in big, giant letters, because that’s what the problem is,” Lewis said, adding that “a clear majority” of the more than 800 delegates wanted to continue the strike after reading the contract language hammered out between union lawyers and the Chicago Public Schools.

“There’s no trust, for our members, of the board,” Lewis said. “This is not a good deal by any stretch of the imagination.”

The delegates won’t meet again until Sept. 18 because of the Jewish new year. That means 350,000 students will be out of class for a sixth day.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tim Jones in Chicago at tjones58@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net


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