In the last hour [@3pm Chicago time] , the capitalist press has been reporting that a “tentative agreement” between the Chicago Teachers Union and the union-busting Democratic Party administration of Rahm Emanuel has been reached. We have no way to confirm the reports; the CTU website has not published an update on the talks since this morning. The Chicago Sun-Times reports:
“Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said negotiators for the union and the Chicago Public Schools are trying to work out the language on a framework for a deal that she can present to the union’s House of Delegates on Sunday…
“ ‘We don’t have a contract yet,’ Lewis said shortly after 4 p.m. ‘We have a framework for an agreement.’
“[Lewis] said the union had no plans to give members an advance look at the highlights before the Sunday meeting [but that] the deal on the table ‘looks like something we can figure a way to work out’ and that she was ‘very comfortable’ with the provisions dealing with teacher evaluations, which earlier had been a main point of contention.”
“Overall, Lewis said the union ‘made compromises,’ but she refused to detail what they were.
“A Chicago Teachers Union official said the union negotiators will recommend a contract proposal to its House of Delegates on Sunday.”
[Source: Chicago Sun-Times: “Teachers’ strike over? Won’t know until Sunday” by Rosalind Rossi, Fran Spielman, Maudlyne Ihejirika and Lauren Fitzpatrick, 14 September, 2012]
It is a long-standing union principle that until a contract agreement is finalized and ratified, the strike continues. Taking down the picket lines before the membership gets to review and vote on the final agreement is a sellout of the union membership and would be a clear sign that the Democratic-Party-friendly CTU leadership intends to ram the “tentative agreement” through whether the membership agrees to it or not. Now is the time for CTU members to pay very close attention to the way the CTU leadership proceeds. If they ask to to accept an offer without reviewing it first, vote it down. And don’t accept what the bourgeois press prints as the truth: contact your union representatives and find out what’s going on. The capitalist press will spread lies that an agreement has been reached in order to force the union to come to an agreement before a contract is approved by the union membership.
NO CONTRACT, NO WORK!