“Everybody is going back to school,” said Jay Rehak, a delegate from Whitney Young High School. Delegate Mike Bochner said “an overwhelming majority” of delegates voted to suspend the strike. “I’m really excited, I’m really relieved,” said Bochner, a teacher at Cesar Chavez elementary.
Hoots, hollers, applause and what sounded like a cowbell erupted multiple times from inside the closed-door meeting. At the meeting, delegates were given a summary of the contract’s key issues. An introduction to that summary declared victory on several issues.
“Our brothers and sisters throughout the country have been told that corporate ‘school reform’ was unstoppable, that merit pay had to be accepted and that the public would never support us if we decided to fight. Cities everywhere have been forced to accept performance pay,” the statement said.
“Not here in Chicago. Months ago, CTU members won a strike authorization, one that our enemies thought would be impossible. Now we have stopped the board are imposing merit pay! We preserved our lanes and steps when the politicians and press predicted they were history. We held the line on healthcare costs. We have tremendous victories in this contract; however, it is by no means perfect. While we did not win on every front and will need to continue our struggle into the future, we soundly defended our profession from an aggressive and dishonest attack. We owe our victories to each and every member of this rank and rile union. Our power comes from the bottom up.” -- Sun-Times