Saturday Sep 15, 201202:46 PM GMT
Striking Chicago teachers prepare to stage rally
Striking Chicago teachers on September 14, 2012.
Striking Chicago teachers on September 14, 2012.
Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:43PM
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Thousands of teachers on strike in the US city of Chicago are planning a large rally to pressure the city to come to an agreement with their union.

The "Standing Strong with Chicago Teachers Rally" is expected to be the largest of its type against Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s education reforms.

Teachers demanding higher pay and job security, have been on strike for nearly a week, closing down schools to some 350,000 students.

Strike organizers say teachers will return to classrooms as soon as Sunday if negotiations between Emanuel’s Chicago School Board and the Chicago Teachers Union result in an agreement.

The union opposes a proposal by Emanuel to subject the teachers to strict evaluation of their performance. Opponents say this could lead to many job losses.

On Monday, more than 29,000 teachers and support staff went on strike in Chicago.

The strike is the country’s third largest city’s first in 25 years.

Emanuel, who also holds a dual Israeli citizenship and is considered as an aggressive and influential fundraiser in the Democratic Party, has also sought a longer school day, a longer school year.

According to a report released by the White House, as a result of state and local budget cuts, the US has slashed more than 3000,000 education jobs since June 2009.

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