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No Ruling Yet In CTU Strike

“Judge Delays Chicago Strike Ruling”
by Stephanie Banchero
Wall Street Journal
September 18, 2012

A judge declined on Monday to immediately order Chicago public-school teachers back into their classrooms, rebuffing Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s efforts to end the six-day strike on the grounds that it is illegal.

The Chicago school district filed suit Monday morning asking Cook County Circuit Court Judge Peter Flynn to prohibit the union from striking, arguing that Illinois law bars the teachers from striking over noneconomic issues, such as layoffs, teacher evaluations and the length of the school day. It also said the strike, which it called a “weapon,” is a “clear and present danger to public health and safety” by keeping students out of school.

After a brief meeting with a school-district lawyer later Monday morning, Judge Flynn, a Democrat first appointed in 1999 and up for a retention vote in November, said he needed more time to look over materials before issuing a ruling. He scheduled a hearing for Wednesday.

The lawsuit came a day after the Chicago Teachers Union’s governing board declined to call an end to the strike, the first teacher walkout in the city in 25 years. The union delegates said they wanted more time to look over a tentative deal that was finalized just hours before a meeting Sunday afternoon. They also voiced unhappiness with the agreement.

The battle has catapulted Chicago into the national debate over teacher evaluations, job security and the power of labor unions and pitted Mr. Emanuel, a Democrat and former chief of staff for President Barack Obama, against organized labor.

Union leaders said the delegates would meet again Tuesday—there were no meetings Monday because of Rosh Hashana—to discuss the district’s latest contract offer, meaning classes couldn’t resume until Wednesday at the earliest. The city was hoping to force teachers back into the classroom

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