Oct. 28 (UPI) — Contract talks between the city of Chicago and its teachers stalled on Saturday evening as the union said the board’s latest offer was well short of its most recent proposal.
Chicago Teacher’s Union President Jesse Sharkey said the union was seeking $38 million more from the city for Chicago Public Schools to address class size, provide adequate staffing of nurses and social workers and fair wages for para-professionals.
“It’s one half of one percent of CPS’ annual operating budget,” Sharkey said. “We feel like we need to be able to get there. We feel like this is an amount of money that CPS needs to be able to make as an investment into our students and our classrooms.”
The two sides had reached consensus on dozens of contract matters, but negotiated for 14 hours on Saturday without reaching a deal, as CPS said the union broke the district’s trust.
“We are not close to where we need to be on the big issues,” Sybil Madison, Chicago’s deputy mayor for education and human services, said Saturday. “We are going to return tomorrow and work diligently to try to close the divide.”
Both the city and the union hope to reach a deal to bring 25,000 teachers and about 300,000 students back to school as the strike has extended to seven school days.
CPS has not stated whether schools will be open on Monday.