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Chicago strike: It's back to school as teachers accept key reforms (+video)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel hailed the agreement ending the Chicago school strike as 'an honest compromise.' The union made concessions on both teacher evaluations and seniority. Schools reopen Wednesday.

Teachers agreed Tuesday to return to the classroom after more than a week on the picket lines in Chicago, ending a combative stalemate with Mayor Rahm Emanuel over evaluations and job security.
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A strike by Chicago schoolteachers that left most Chicago public schools shuttered for seven days ended late Tuesday afternoon after 800 union delegates voted to sign off on a negotiated three-year contract that Mayor Rahm Emanuel hailed as constituting “an honest compromise.”

The nearly 350,000 schoolchildren enrolled in Chicago’s schools will return to classes Wednesday.

The strike was the first in Chicago in 25 years. Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis acknowledged that her side failed to receive “a perfect contract” but asked, in a press conference, “do we stay on strike forever until every little thing we want can be gotten?”

The settlement, which included teacher concessions on evaluations and seniority, prevents what would have been an ominous next step for the teachers union: court.

On Monday, after the union said it needed several more days to scrutinize the negotiated contract given to them over the weekend, Mayor Emanuel directed the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) system to file a complaint in the Circuit Court of Cook County saying the strike was illegal under Illinois state law because it was based on more than just wages and benefits.

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