Chicago Mayor Sues to End Strike; Suburban Lake Forest Undermines Striking Teachers with Volunteers

CPS strike, teachers strike
Chicago Teachers Union strikers are considering a proposed contract that came out of tense negotiations last week.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is asking Chicago Public Schools lawyers to file a court injunction in order to end the week-old strike of 30,000 public school teachers in his city.

Lawyers filed a 700-page request Monday morning seeking a temporary restraining order and asking a judge to end the strike, according to NBC Chicago [via MSNBC]. Emanuel is making good on a promise to seek legal recourse if the strike continued beyond last week. The teachers union says teachers need more time to look over a proposed teachers contract, that was drafted last week.

Union delegates said they would not meet today in observation of the Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashanah, which began Sunday night. Emanuel’s schedule was also clear for today, according to NBC.

CPS teachers aren’t the only ones on strike. The affluent Lake Forest district has also yet to resume classes for the year as their teachers walk the picket line to force contract negotiations. However, Lake Forest teachers are being undermined by the administration and some families whose kids attend the school.

To the frustration of the 150 teachers, and union supporters everywhere, Lake Forest opened today for regular classes. The school has hired 50 substitute teachers and recruited 50 volunteer parents to work with the administration and the school board to reopen the school today in an effort to begin core classwork and have the day count toward the required 170+ for the year. Teachers from surrounding suburban school districts — and some CPS strikers — joined their picket line to show support.

At a weekend school board meeting where today’s re-opening was decided, on parent stood up among all the union-busting enthusiasm and to remind them what lesson crossing the picket line and reopening the school gives the kids [from the Chicago Tribune]:

“You’re disgusting,” yelled Carol Harding, after the audience’s outburst.

“Why are we teaching students not to honor the labor forces that historically are in play here?” Harding said later. “Why wouldn’t my child learn more on the picket line than here? I am appalled that people would applaud.”

Her daughter will likely not attend school Monday, she said.


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