While CPS and CTU are still negotiating away (and I don't have any specific inside information), it seems to me like a strike is less and less likely. Here are four reasons why, including among them the dynamics that are being created by Chicago's staggered school start schedule (Track E v. Track R). Take a look and let us know what you think about my reasoning and the likely outcome.
Last week, you had CTU warning members once again to be ready to strike, which seemed awfully theatrical. If the teachers weren't ready to strike already...Just as noteworthy, there was none of the past talk from CPS or City Hall about how the teachers shouldn't strike for the good of the kids, etc. Either they're not worried about a strike anymore, or realized that wagging their fingers at the teachers wasn't helping things.
Monday night's WTTW segments didn't seem like they were the interviews that JCB or KJL would have given if they thought that a strike was going to happen -- or (in the case of CTU) wanted one to happen.
CTU has already won, in terms of rolling back the extended day, protecting jobs, and rubbing Rahm's nose in it. They'll get 8 or 10 percent over four years and be correct to declare victory. They're the toast of militant teachers union locals nationwide.
But the biggest reason I don't think there will be (can be) a strike any more is that a third of CPS is already back to school now. Those teachers have started the year, met their kids, are settling into their schedules (not without a little grumbling). Getting them out on strike wouldn't be impossible, if Brizard or Emanuel did something stupid, but it wouldn't be nearly as easy as it would have been over the summer, or closer to the actual strike vote.
There's nothing nefarious in this, it's just a function of the increase in Track E schools. CPS has been pushing Track E for years -- as have other districts (LA schools started Tuesday for the entire system). But the staggered schedule does have the effect of dividing teachers into two groups.
What do you think?