Emanuel to Leave DNC Early as Teacher Strike Looms

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is dramatically cutting back his time at the Demoncratic National Convention, as the city's teachers prepare for a walkout in the first weeks of school, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
by | September 4, 2012
 

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is dramatically cutting back his time at the Demoncratic National Convention, as the city's teachers prepare for a walkout in the first weeks of school, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Emanuel originally planned to be in Charlotte, the site of the convention, through Friday morning, according to the newspaper, but he'll now return on Wednesday evening. The mayor's staff told the Sun-Times that a pending teachers strike was not the reason for the change of plans, but rather the Obama campaign had asked Emanuel to host a watch party for the president's acceptance speech on Thursday night.

According to the Associated Press, 26,000 teachers are prepared to start a strike on Sept. 10. If it takes place, it would be the first teachers strike in Chicago in 25 years and the largest in the country since 2006.

The source of tension between Emanuel and the teachers union lies primarily in his decision to reverse a planned 4 percent pay raise and concerns that the mayor wants to move to a fully merit-based system for promotions and raises, according to the AP.

Thousands of teachers attended a march around City Hall on Labor Day, according to the Sun-Times. Emanuel's office told the newspaper that his staff met with union officials all weekend, but there were no updates to the labor dispute.

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