On Friday, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis sounded ebullient when she announced that the union had reached a tentative deal with Chicago Public Schools officials. The union leader, hailed by some as a national labor hero, said she was "very comfortable" with the terms. "We think it's a framework that will get us to an agreement."
It didn't. Just two days later, Lewis couldn't sell the deal to her own House of Delegates. In a stunning turn of events late Sunday afternoon, CTU delegates refused to go back to work. They chanted "Get it right!" They demanded more time. Remember, they were only being asked Sunday to suspend the strike and return to the classrooms while union members prepare for a vote on whether to accept the contract.
Result: Chicago's teachers will keep the school doors locked on Chicago's kids and parents.
CPS has already made significant concessions to the union. It has given ground — too much ground, we think — on this contract offer. The deal would limit principals' freedom to hire the best teachers available. That's just one of many CPS concessions.