The HOD has voted to end the strike, as you probably already know by now. Two extra days for … a cooling off period, I guess. Lewis has spoken. Emanuel still to come.
As with most contract negotiations, both sides got things important to them. At her press conference, Karen Lewis bragged about how CTU didn’t have to “take” merit pay like in other cities. Indeed, reformers are disappointed in all the things Emanuel gave up or gave back. (They kept lanes!) In an email, CPS highlighted the extended day and year that Mayor Emanuel had made Priority One. No doubt, there will be some CPS teachers who feel that Lewis and her team didn’t get key items they should have fought for.
It was fun to watch, disturbing at times since strikes have become so rare, but always seemed to me to be more of a function of having two firebrand rookies in charge rather than the issues being debated. Personality conflicts between labor and management aren’t rare — DC, LA, and NYC have all had it at various times– but it’s not required. CPS wasn’t proposing something so unusual compared to other cities. Check out this post about Boston and Philly.
As for the larger story, I don’t think that Chicago has told us anything more than what we already know from DC and other places — that firebrands make for great drama but shouldn’t be in charge of negotiations. The substantive issues — including student achievement in teacher evaluations, for example — don’t seem unique to Chicago.
The other shoes have yet to fall: paying for the salary increases, dealing with the 50 or 100 more schools that will have to close do to shrinking enrollment, seeing if CPS and CTU can end their long run heading an under-performing, highly segregated urban school system.