“This is a strike of choice.” – Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D-Chicago) on the Chicago Teachers Union strike.

Mayor Emanuel quickly blasted the strike announcement as “a strike of choice.” He repeatedly declared: “My team is available now.”

A disappointed Emanuel said the latest deal offered to the teachers was “very respectful of our teachers and is right by our children. The issues that remain are minor,” Emanuel said. “This is totally unnecessary. It’s avoidable and our kids don’t deserve this.”

The mayor said the two remaining stumbling blocks involve re-hiring laid off teachers from schools that get shut down and a new teacher evaluation process that the union says puts far too much weight on student test scores. The school board’s last offer included a 3% raise the first year and 2% raises the next three years — a slight increase from an earlier offer of 2% raises in each of the next four years.

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