Chicago teachers to decide Tuesday whether to end strike (+video)
As the strike stretches into a second week, parental support of public school teachers seems to be waning.
Teachers in the nation's third-largest city will pore over the details of a contract settlement Tuesday as the clock ticks down to an afternoon meeting in which they are expected to vote on whether to end a seven-day strike that has kept 350,000 students out of class.
Some union delegates planned to take a straw poll of rank-and-file teachers to measure support for a settlement that includes pay raises and concessions from the city on the contentious issues of teacher evaluations and job security. But many warned the outcome remained uncertain two days after delegates refused to call off the walkout, saying they didn't trust city and school officials and wanted more details.
"It takes a lot to start a strike. You don't want to prematurely end it," said Jay Rehak, an English teacher and union delegate who planned to survey his colleagues at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School before voting at a meeting scheduled for 3 p.m.
As parental support for the strike waned, teachers came under pressure to quickly decide on the tentative contract that labor and education experts — and even some union leaders — called a good deal for the Chicago Teachers Union.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, irked by the union's two-day delay in voting on whether to send children back to school, took the matter into court Monday. A judge has called a hearing for Wednesday morning to rule on the city's request for an injunction ordering the teachers back to work.
Members of at least one new parent group expressed frustrations that their children could not return to class after the teachers decided to stay out on Sunday.