The Chicago Teachers Union has gone on strike for the first time in 25 years over contract disputes that seem to hinge upon potential changes to health benefits, the power of principals to terminate teachers, and teacher evaluations being tied to student performance through standardized test scores. Mayor Rahm Emmanuel has been in negotiations with the union for months, but the former White House chief-of-staff has found himself in a face-off as he has pushed for a longer school day and year, as well as cuts to pay raises that teachers were supposed to get last year.
"I believe this is avoidable because this is a strike of choice," Emanuel said Sunday night. The Chicago Tribune reports that sources say relations between the Mayor and CTU President Karen Lewis are so bad, sending Emanuel into negotiations to broker a last-minute deal wasn't an option because "there was so much bad blood" between the two.
Following the standoffs with public sector unions and legislators in Wisconsin and Greece, the latest fight has once again attracted national news coverage but taken a new face as Big Labor finds itself pitted against "New Democrats."
Is this clash bound to repeat itself in cities and states across the country as unsustainable pensions loom over municipalities with a retiring teacher pool growing larger each year? How much more will we hear this issue discussed on the national level? Watch the "Real News From The Blaze" panel break down the story Monday: