CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel says a teachers strike can be avoided, and he’s denying a published report that a strike would shorten the tenure of his schools CEO.

The mayor was asked about the rumor that Chicago school CEO Jean-Claude Brizard was on the hot seat, and could lose his job if the unionized teachers go on strike on Sept. 10.

“I think you have characterized it correctly,” Emanuel said on Friday. “Rumor.”

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“I am going to speak for Rahm Emanuel. Nobody will speak for me.”

Emanuel said he called Brizard when he heard the rumor and told him he’s doing a great job and has his backing. Brizard himself said the same thing on CBS 2’s Morning Show on Friday.

More importantly he said, negotiations between the administration and the teachers union are ongoing.

“They were there both this week, they were there today, they are there tomorrow and through the weekend,” Emanuel said. “They’ll work through the issues.”

The mayor said the right people are in place, but he would personally get involved if needed. He said a strike is avoidable and that it’s a choice.

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