Chicago Mayor Seeks Injunction to End Teachers Strike; Judge Delays Hearing
Posted Sep 17, 2012 11:15 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is seeking an injunction to end a teachers strike that is stretching into the second week.
Union delegates considering an agreement Sunday refused to end the strike, spurring Emanuel’s pledge to force an end to the walkout, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times and Reuters report. Some delegates disliked the deal and others wanted more time to evaluate it, the Times explains.
Emanuel said the strike is “illegal” because the two remaining areas of disagreement—teacher evaluations and recalls of laid-off teachers—don’t meet legal standards for a work stoppage, the Tribune says. A complaint filed with the court also argues the strike is a clear and present danger to public health and safety, the Tribune says.
Judge Peter Flynn of Cook County refused to schedule an immediate hearing. A spokesman for the city's Law Department, Roderick Drew, said Flynn raised the possibility of a Wednesday hearing, but questioned whether the issues would be moot if the strike is resolved by then, according to the Tribune account.
The agreement calls for an average 17.6 percent pay hike over four years. Emanuel's concessions include phasing in the new evaluation system and reducing the weight of standardized tests in the reviews, Reuters says.
Union president Karen Lewis said school closings are "the big elephant in the room," at an earlier news conference. Up to 120 schools could eventually be closed.
Updated at 12:15 p.m. to include new details.