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Poll: Emanuel Gets High Marks, Voters Want Teachers To Wait For Strike Vote

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel discusses his first year in office and the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago. (Credit: CBS)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel discusses his first year in office and the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – A new poll shows Mayor Rahm Emanuel getting high marks from voters during his first year in office, but little public support for an early vote on a possible Chicago teachers’ strike.

WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports the Illinois Retail Merchants Association polled 1,267 registered voters about a number of issues during Emanuel’s first year in office.

The survey found 71 percent of people said they think teachers should wait until an independent arbitrator issues a report, making recommendations on a union contract, before the Chicago Teachers Union holds a strike vote.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports

David Vite, the group’s president, said, “They want teachers in the classroom. They want teachers to see what the arbiter says before they make a decision on whether to vote for a strike, or not.”

Chicago Public Schools teachers cannot legally go on strike until after an independent arbitrator’s report is issued, but they can vote to authorize a strike at any time. The Emanuel administration wants the union to wait until after the arbitrator’s report is issued this summer, but many teachers will be on vacation when that happens, and the union has hinted it could call a strike authorization vote before then.

The poll also found Emanuel gets a 64 percent job approval rating, 78 percent liked how he handled the NATO Summit, and 57 percent believe he has improved the city’s business climate.

Vite said the group conducted the poll to get a sense of how Chicagoans view Emanuel’s first year in office.

“Seventy-percent or so of folks saying he did a great job, that’s very high marks,” he said.

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