Mayor Lori Lightfoot struck an ominous note Friday morning when asked about the state of negotiations between Chicago Public Schools officials. If there wasn’t “significant” progress on Friday, it would be “difficult” to get reach. deal and get students back in class “quickly.” That warning proved prescient, as the strike stretched into Monday — one day longer than the 2012 strike — and became the longest teachers work stoppage since 1987.
- ‘We’re stuck’ — Although negotiations stretched for 14 hours Saturday, CPS Chief Education Officer LaTanya McDade told reporters Sunday morning “quite frankly, we’re stuck.” McDade said the two sides agreed “philosophically” that Chicago schools needed more resources — but were far apart on how to enshrine those promises — and pay for the additional staff and programs.
- Dollars and cents — Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey on Saturday said the union and the city were only $38 million apart, but Arnie Rivera, chief operating officer for CPS, said the two sides were separated by more than $100 million. CPS CEO Janice Jackson joined the negotiations late Sunday for several hours and students announced a rally at 10 a.m. City Hall.
- SEIU deal done — Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced late Sunday that the city had reached a tentative agreement with Service Employee International Union Local 73, which represents approximately 7,500 support staff workers. Once the deal is ratified, those workers will return to work — but schools will not reopen until a deal with CTU is reached. Lightfoot said she was “enormously disappointed that CTU simply cannot take yes for an answer.” However, in a series of tweets, union leaders said the mayor could meet the union’s demands by having the city pay $33 million to cover the cost of police officers to be assigned to Chicago high schools and $60 million toward teachers’ pensions, as the city has in the past. Lightfoot has consistently said the city can’t afford to cover any more of the school district’s costs. CTU Vice President Stacy Davis Gates responded to Lightfoot that agreeing to the city’s current offer would mean “saying yes to inequity.”