City, CTU resume ‘discussions’ after both sides appeared resistant to budging before weekend on school reopening
Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a brief statement Saturday that said the two sides had met “to determine if there is a pathway” to reaching a deal.
After entering the weekend without an agreement and with negotiations between the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools seemingly at a standstill, Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a brief statement Saturday night saying the two sides had met earlier in the day “to determine if there is a pathway” to reaching a deal.
“Those discussions continue,” the mayor added.
On Friday, Lightfoot and CPS officials warned they would lock out preschool teachers and staff who work with disabled children from remote work if they don’t return to schools Monday.
The threat had the potential to set off the city’s second teachers strike in 15 months, with union president Jesse Sharkey saying no one should report for school Monday if a deal wasn’t reached.
Lightfoot’s lockout threat came hours after telling the union the city had given them their “last, best and final offer” to reopen schools.
The teachers union called that offer “deficient.”
About 21,700 preschool through eighth grade staff members are due to return to schools when they reopen and up to 67,000 students could return to classrooms — most for two days a week, while preschoolers and some in special education go back full-time.
A strike would halt all district classes for about 290,000 students — including the 123,000 students whose families have chosen to keep their kids home and for high school students, who are not currently scheduled to return in-person.