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5:01 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Chicago Teachers Strike Heads Into Second Week

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 9:52 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's bring it back to the United States now, where the Chicago teachers' strike enters a second week. More than 350,000 students will be out of school at least until Wednesday, even after both sides agreed on a framework for a deal. Union delegates say they need more time. Here's NPR's Sonari Glinton.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: On Friday, both sides were optimistic. Here's David Vitale, the president of the Chicago school board.

DAVID VITALE: We're all feeling pretty good that as our colleagues on the union side go through their process, and we go through ours, that we're going to have our kids in school on Monday morning.

GLINTON: All right, that was Friday. On Sunday, members of the union had their process, and the union house of delegates voted not to suspend the strike.

KAREN LEWIS: Well, they're not happy with the agreement. They would like it to be, actually, a lot better for us than it is.

GLINTON: Karen Lewis is head of the Chicago Teachers Union. She says teachers are mainly concerned about job security, and closing schools.

LEWIS: The big elephant in the room, is the closing of 200 schools. That's what the big elephant in the room is, with our members. They are extraordinarily concerned about it. It's at the - it undergirds just about everything they talked about.

GLINTON: Lewis says the union needs two more days, for delegates to discuss the proposed deal with their fellow teachers. Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he'll seek a court order to end the strike, which he says is illegal under Illinois law.

Sonari Glinton, NPR News, Chicago. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.