Teachers at Mount Greenwood schools optimistic strike will end soon
BY CASEY TONER firstname.lastname@example.org September 17, 2012 11:40AM
With the Chicago Public School teachers strike starting its second week Sinead Fogarty, 8, and Megan Miller, 9, play at Mount Greenwood Park in Chicago, Illinois, Monday, September 17, 2012. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 19, 2012 6:11AM
As the Chicago teachers strike began its second week Monday, teachers in the Mount Greenwood community expressed hope it would be over soon.
Peggy Carroll, a gym teacher and union delegate, addressed about 20 teachers outside Mount Greenwood Elementary School, 10841 S. Homan Ave., early in the morning.
“The court of public opinion ... will lose their patience with us,” Carroll said through a megaphone. “My fingers will be crossed and my prediction is that we’ll be back in school on Wednesday.”
Carroll, who on Sunday voted in favor of ending the strike but was not with the majority, circulated a summary of the latest deal, which the union delegates could vote on Tuesday. She said the teachers were headed to Mount Greenwood Park to meet and discuss details and their concerns with the contract.
Carroll believes that what’s on the table might be the union’s best chance to get most of what it wants.
“I’m happy,” Carroll said. “I think we’ll be compensated fairly for our jobs. There’s a lot of issues that need to be worked out regarding class sizes and working conditions, but these problems won’t be figured out before we go back in.”
She said an assertion by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Sunday that the “children of Chicago are played as pawns” in the strike was made “because he’s mad and he wants the public to side with him.”
Chicago Public Schools also sought a court order to end the strike, but Cook County Judge Peter Flynn declined Monday to immediately take up the lawsuit. Flynn told a city attorney he preferred to schedule a hearing for Wednesday, a city law department spokesman said.
Wednesday is the earliest students could return if union delegates vote to approve the tentative deal at its meeting Tuesday.
Striking teachers left Keller Gifted Regional Center, 3020 W. 108th St., by 9:30 a.m. Monday. Linda Sue Collins, a librarian there and a union delegate, said teachers were headed home to study a summary of the deal and were to get back to her with any questions she could take back to union leaders. She said there was no need for a court order to force teachers back to school because she believes the union is close to ratifying the deal.
“We’re logical people,” Collins said. “We know we’re not going to get everything, and we need to go back to work.”