Putting It To A Vote

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 2:15pm

Striking Chicago teachers vote on new contract proposal.

Chicago could be closing in on a close to its first teacher strike in 25 years.

All eyes are on the Chicago Teachers Union's roughly 800 delegates, scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. to discuss and further review the latest contract proposal solidified over the weekend.

A "yes" vote would send 350,000 students back to school as early as Wednesday. If they vote no, a judge on Wednesday morning will hear an injunction request from Mayor Rahm Emanuel's general counsel.

On the eve of the delegates' meeting, the head of the Chicago Teachers Union appeared calm, focused and cooperative. A decision to end the strike, however, is at the mercy of the democratic process, and Karen Lewis said she can't predict what delegates will do.

"I don't have a crystal ball. I've said that throughout this entire process," Lewis said Monday night. "I mean, the key to this is that this a democratic process. Our union is made up of people who sit down and have their own opinions and come to their own conclusions about where they want to be and what they expect."

Lewis said her constituents have been busy reviewing the document. There were no meetings or discussions Monday in observance of the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah, which began at sunset on Sunday.

"We do know that people have had time to read what is available, and that is what is important," she said.

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