Lewis said delegates weren’t yet willing to go back to work while contract language was amended because of the level of distrust between the union and the city, and the fact the settlement on the table remains tentative.
‘‘The trust level is just not there,’’ Lewis said. ‘‘You have a population of people who are frightened of never being able to work for no fault of their own. They just don’t have the trust.’’
Emanuel, who did not personally negotiate the deal but monitored the talks through aides, has pushed hard for a contract that includes ratcheting up the percentage of evaluations based on student performance, to 35 percent within four years. The union contends that is unfair because it does not take into account outside factors that affect student performance such as poverty, violence and homelessness.
The union also pushed for a policy to give laid-off teachers first dibs on open jobs anywhere in the district, which the city said that would keep principals from hiring the teachers they thought best qualified for the position.
‘‘They’re still not happy with the evaluation(s),’’ Lewis said. ‘‘They’re not happy with the recall. They don’t like the idea that people’s recall benefits are cut in half.’’
The teachers walked out Sept. 10 after months of tense contract talks that for a time appeared to be headed toward a peaceful resolution.
Emanuel and the union agreed in July on a deal to implement a longer school day with a plan to hire back 477 teachers who had been laid off rather than pay regular teachers more to work longer hours. That raised hopes the contract would be settled before the start of fall classes, but bargaining stalled on other issues.
To win friends, the union representing 25,500 teachers, engaged in something of a publicity campaign, telling parents repeatedly about problems with schools and the barriers that have made it more difficult to serve their kids. They described classrooms that are stifling hot without air conditioning, important books that are unavailable and supplies as basic as toilet paper that are sometimes in short supply.
The strike upended a district in which the vast majority of students are poor and minority. It also raised the concerns of parents who worried not just about their kids’ education but their safety. Chicago’s gang violence has spiked this year, with scores of shootings reported throughout the summer and bystanders sometimes caught in the crossfire.
‘‘I don’t like being on strike. Nobody in my school likes being on strike, but we understand the reason. It’s not an easy process,’’ said Michael Bochner, a teacher at Cesar Chavez Elementary.
‘‘My membership,’’ he said, ‘‘really wants to go back to work.’’
Associated Press writer Michelle Janaye Nealy contributed to this report.