Chicago teachers will go back to work, but we shouldn't be surprised to see more aggressive contract negotiations in other major cities.
Both the Chicago Teachers' Union and Mayor Rahm Emanuel are claiming some victories, now that the strike that shut down the Windy City's schools for seven days has ended. The teachers' strike -- the city's first in 25 years -- ended late Tuesday after the union's delegates voted to return to work.
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According to the Chicago Tribune, there wasn't a clear winner in this fight. Both sides made notable concessions. The teachers will see their salary scale increase by double digits over the next three years, although it's not the 30 percent increase in base pay the union initially demanded. As for Emanuel's priorities, principals will continue to control staffing at schools, and Chicago will adopt an evaluation system that uses student test scores as a factor in evaluating teachers' job performance.
There was plenty of debate over whether a prolonged strike would hurt President Obama's re-election chances, as his administration's education reform measures spurred some of the key issues Chicago teachers were fighting against. Whether seven days was long enough to do real damage remains to be seen.