The Chicago Teachers Union said on Saturday, the third day of the teacher’s strike, it reached tentative agreements on two major issues, however reaching a deal with the city to end the strike didn’t appear to be any closer.
Chicago parents leaned on family, friends and community groups as 25,000 teachers in the nation’s third-largest school district went on strike this past week, canceling classes for more than 300,000 kids.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said on Saturday that she would be “very surprised” if school resumed on Monday. Classes were canceled on both Thursday and Friday as a result of the strike.
Both Mayor Lightfoot and union leaders said negotiators have several major disputes to resolve, including pay and benefits, class size, and school staffing.
At a news conference on Saturday evening, CTU Vice President Stacy Davis-Gates said both sides had reached tentative agreements on eight different items, including two key issues: retention of teachers of color and a moratorium on charter schools.
The CTU also reported that the city put forth proposals regarding class size and staffing, but it remained clear how exaclty the policies would be enforced.
“We want something that provides infrastructure for the change that 30,000 thousand people are marching on the streets for right now, and that will require us to make sure we’re sure,” Davis-Gates said.
Jesse Sharkey, the CTU president, said that the issues of class size and staffing have received a lot of attention, but the union also remains focused on three other priorities: pay and benefits, teacher preparation time and the length of the contract.
Davis-Gates said a “collection of things” have to come together for an agreement to be reached.
“Today we got a little further than we were yesterday,” Davis-Gates, the union vice president, said on Saturday. “I’m good with that. We’re going to keep doing that until we get it right.”
Copyright Associated Press