(CBS) – Unnecessary – that is Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s opinion about the threat of a strike from the Chicago Teachers Union.

“This is avoidable. It’s not necessary to put this unfair burden on parents,” Emanuel told reporters at a school-related event Thursday.

He added: “We can work this out, put politics aside.”

The mayor argues there was a deal reached months ago, with union officials, which would grant teachers a 13 percent pay increase.

CTU President Karen Lewis and other union leaders tentatively agreed to that basic deal back in January, but the union’s 40-member bargaining team rejected the offer the following month.

In setting a strike date – Oct. 11 at the soonest, barring a contract deal — teachers this week have said the any raise the Board of Education offered was wiped out by their having to contribute more to their pensions. Plus, there are other issues, such as cuts in the number of jobs and in services with Chicago Public Schools.

Teachers are currently without a contract, amid continuing financial problems within CPS. They last went on strike in 2012.


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