Some 800 teachers’ union representatives in Chicago, US, have voted to reject a deal. The strike now enters its second week.
Some 26,000 teachers and support staff struck for five days last week—their first walkout since 1987. The strikers’ march on Wednesday of last week filled the city’s streets with their iconic red T-shirts.
Polls show almost half of Chicago residents support the strike. The city’s mayor is Rahm Emmanuel, former chief of staff for president Barack Obama and a prominent supporter of education “reform”. He failed to stop the strike with a court order this week.
He wants to make teachers work longer hours without extra pay and tie their pay to students’ results in standardised tests. In primary schools the measures would mean teachers working an extra 75 minutes a day.
The teachers’ CTU union says reforms could also mean up to 6,000 job losses and 200 school closures. The union fears the cuts would hit the poorest areas hardest.