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Letter: Chicago strike is over real needs

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is asking a state court

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is asking a state court to force Chicago school teachers back to work, ending a strike he calls illegal. (Sept. 17)

A letter writer says that teachers should not be allowed to strike since they are critical civil service workers ["Prevent teachers from striking," Sept. 16].

Teachers are people too, with families to support. The writer should examine exactly what these teachers have now, and why these pay increases are so imperative to them.

Does the writer think that any college graduate can teach? If so, it is obvious he hasn't been inside a classroom. It takes years to perfect the skills a teacher needs.

Also, the strike hasn't only been about money. It's about working conditions that affect children's education. The writer should try being in a room overfilled with 6-year-olds, and then see if he feels the same way. Or, try working in a room with 40-plus bodies when the temperature is over 100 degrees, and there is no air conditioner in sight.

Teachers are public servants, but they are not slaves. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel did not bargain in good faith. The teachers did the only thing they could. The cost of the strike has been high, but it's necessary for the future of education in Chicago.

Linda Silverman, Bellerose Manor

Editor's note: The writer is a retired teacher from Francis Lewis High School in Fresh Meadows.