The Latest: Chicago mayor ‘disappointed’ by failed talks
CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on a Chicago teachers strike (all times local):
Chicago’s mayor says she is “deeply disappointed” that leaders of the city’s teachers union rejected a sweetened contract offer, continuing a strike that has already canceled classes for nine days.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot spoke Tuesday afternoon, shortly before hundreds of delegates representing members of the Chicago Teachers Union are scheduled to receive an update on the contract talks.
The walkout that began Oct. 17 has centered on teachers’ demands for tighter limits on class sizes and more staff in schools.
Lightfoot says she met directly with union leaders Tuesday and made a generous offer on those issues.
She reiterated her earlier accusations that union leaders have demanded that she support state legislation affecting the district’s appointed school board and labor laws as part of a deal.
Chicago’s mayor is accusing leaders of the city’s teachers union of holding up the resolution of a contract over political issues as a strike keeps classrooms closed.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday that Chicago Teachers Union officials have demanded that she support state legislation affecting the district’s appointed school board and labor laws.
Lightfoot says those demands are a major block to reaching a deal that would end the strike that has kept students out of class for nine days in the nation’s third-largest school district.
The strike by 25,000 union members began Oct. 17.
Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson says the union is demanding more preparation time for teachers that would force the school day or school year to be shortened. She says that would jeopardize students’ academic progress.
A representative for striking Chicago teachers expressed hope following late-night bargaining talks and says the Chicago Teachers Union “has laid out a path for a settlement” that could reopen classrooms in the nation’s third-largest school district.
General Counsel Robert Bloch said early Tuesday that the union representing 25,000 teachers is awaiting the city ‘s response. Bloch says the parties have narrowed their differences, “but we’re not there yet.”
Both sides remain divided over demands for smaller classes and more staff.
Classes remained canceled Tuesday for more than 300,000 students as the strike that began Oct. 17 entered its ninth school day. The walkout has surpassed the length of a 2012 teachers’ strike.
The district has reached a tentative agreement with a separate union representing thousands of school support staff.