Wow. It’s pretty unusual for a teachers union leader to take a deal back to their members and have it rejected like this. It happened in Baltimore in 2010 because a lot of the deal was left to be worked out later and teachers didn’t feel they had enough information – that contract was ultimately ratified though.
In this case the cause seems to be not a lack of information but rather something that’s plagued these negotiations all week according to people involved in them – some disagreement and disorganization within the union so it’s hard to figure out what bottom lines are. And after yesterday probably harder. The internal politics will pick up because this was hardly a vote of confidence for Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis.
At this point it seems like the union may well have – pick your metaphor – overplayed its hand here or snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Per the below, they were coming out of this OK but this latest stunt may well undo that because “Our members are not happy. They want to know if there is anything more they can get” as Lewis put it is at odds with the earlier messaging on what the strike was all about – and not the most appealing message after a week of no school….