Chicago teachers vote to return to classroom

Published 9:54 pm Tuesday, September 18, 2012

CHICAGO (AP) — The city’s teachers agreed Tuesday to return to the classroom after more than a week on the picket lines, ending a spiteful stalemate with Mayor Rahm Emanuel that put teacher evaluations and job security at the center of a national debate about the future of public education.
Union delegates voted overwhelmingly to formally suspend the strike after discussing details of a proposed contract settlement worked out over the weekend.
Classes were to resume Wednesday.

Delegates poured out of a South Side union hall singing “solidarity forever.”

“I’m very excited. I miss my students. I’m relieved because I think this contract was better than what they offered,” said America Olmedo, who teaches fourth- and fifth-grade bilingual classes. “They tried to take everything away.”

Said Shay Porter, a teacher at the Henderson Academy elementary school: “We ignited the labor movement in Chicago.”