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Is A CPS Teachers' Strike Imminent?

By Soyoung Kwak in News on Aug 13, 2011 6:00PM

2010_07_22_CPS.jpg During a recent taping of "Connected to Chicago with Bill Cameron" on WLS-890 AM, the president of the Chicago Teachers Union announced that the chances of a teachers' strike is "very high." After the taping, Karen Lewis, president of the teachers union, clarified what she meant by saying that "she did not predict that teachers will ultimately go on strike, only that the probability is high that members will call for a strike vote." What's the deal? Will teachers be going on strike any time soon?

Although it might be easy to say the possibility of a teachers strike could happen, it actually takes quite some time for them to occur. New educational reform measures signed by Gov. Pat Quinn in June require the teachers unions to have at least 75 percent of union members who vote in favor of a strike. To make matters a bit more difficult, the Chicago Tribune reports that the new measures lengthen the time of coming to a strike, "requiring steps that would take four to six months before a union can strike after an impasse has been reached."

So, the better question is, are union members feeling aggravated enough to vote for a strike? Lewis believes so:

When asked by Cameron whether the conditions were ripe for a strike this year, she said: “I think it’s very high. Because people are very upset and people feel disrespected.”
The taping of the radio program will air tomorrow, Aug. 14, at 6 a.m.