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Teachers picketing in Chicago on Monday, September 10, 2012

Teachers picketing in Chicago on Monday, September 10, 2012

Chicago teachers are pushing to make sure Rahm Emanuel keeps his end of the bargain, recently struck between the teachers union and the mayor. Teachers hit the streets in their thousands again on Saturday, keeping up nearly-week-long protests against Emanuel’s educational reforms, Reuters reported. As many as 29,000 teachers went on a strike action on Monday amid stalemated contract talks between Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and Chicago Teachers Union (CTU). The day saw thousands of the striking teachers forming picket lines outside empty schools across the city, joined by protesting parents and schoolchildren. The protesters demand Emanuel to withdraw some of his educational reforms, which they say place job security at peril. The CTU President Karen Lewis has called Emanuel a “liar” and a “bully.” The strike, the first such act of work stoppage in 25 years, has prompted the parents of 350,000 students between kindergarten and high school age to scramble to find alternative supervision. The teachers managed to strike a tentative deal with the mayor on Friday. Emanuel has denied that the White House has in any way placed him under pressure to defuse the strike. "The short answer is no," said his spokeswoman Sarah Hamilton. "There was no pressure, and no pressure would have worked, because they know that the mayor firmly believes that what we are doing to reform and improve our schools is the right thing." HN/HN
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