Chicago teacher strike ends; class will be in session on Wednesday


Teacher Jillian Connolly helps her daughter Mary study math problems while picketing on September 10, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois.


Scott Olson

A week-long strike that shut down the United States's third largest school system is over, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

“Everybody is going back to school,” Jay Rehak, a delegate from Whitney Young High School, told the Sun-Times.

Striking Chicago teachers met behind closed doors Tuesday afternoon in a second attempt to consider whether to end the first teacher strike to hit Chicago in 25 years, reported Reuters

About 800 delegates representing the Chicago Teachers Union met to discuss a tentative contract reached over the weekend by negotiators for the teachers and the city. Union leaders had already approved the deal with Chicago Public Schools, but needed approval from the rest of the union's 26,000 members for it to go through. 

"We said we couldn't solve all the problems ... and it was time to suspend the strike," CTU President Karen Lewis said following the vote, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“The issue is, we cannot get a perfect contract. There’s no such thing as a contract that will [please] all of us,” she added.

In advance of the Tuesday decision, the union had thanked Chicagoans for their patience in a leaflet quoted by The New York Times

“We would like to express our profound gratitude for your support in our fight for quality public education and a fair contract,” the leaflet said.

The union said it had gained ground on class size limits, textbooks on the first day of school and more money for special-education teachers.

The New York Times reported that parents were "deeply relieved" by the decision to end the strike.