On the third day of the Chicago teachers strike, both sides are still said to be far apart as contract talks resume Wednesday morning. Derrick Rose and US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan have even weighed in on the walk-off.
Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said the union and school board are miles apart on issues of contention, like teacher evaluations, resources for kids living in a violent city and "recall rights."
CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey said the district has put forth a comprehensive proposal that covers all the issues outstanding between the two sides. He said district officials said they expect a counter proposal from the union when they resume negotiations.
Sharkey said the union moved more Tuesday in the direction of getting to an agreement than the district did. He said negotiations have been an exhausting project, but the union will keep fighting to reach a fair agreement.
The CTU said it has signed off on only six of the 49 articles in a new contract.
WHAT ARE RECALL RIGHTS?
The Chicago Tribune reports that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is considering plans to close between 80 and 120 schools on the city's south and west sides.
The report cites an unnamed source.
School closings are why striking teachers are demanding "recall rights," which give laid-off teachers priority in hiring at other schools.
A spokeswoman for the mayor and one for CPS, said there is no truth to the report.
STRIKE FERVOR CALLS CONDUCT INTO QUESTION
There are more signs the contract fight is personal - besides the anti-Emanuel signs teachers have been hoisting all week. The new personality fight is about the tone teachers have taken.
The head of the Chicago School Board was offended that the Lewis called negotiations "silly," and he said teachers at a rally at Buckingham Fountain were told to party.
Board of Education President David Vitale questioned the union's seriousness about finding a solution.
"They were told to keep going and have a party and have fun," Vitale said, "while 400,000 kids are out of school. This is not the behavior of a group of people about a group of people that are serious about the interests of our children."
"I do think our members are very concerned," Lewis said. "But they also want to express their frustrations. There are a lot of problems that people don't want to talk about, [like working conditions. They're] feeling extremely vulnerable in this environment and it's a problem."
NATIONAL FIGURES WEIGH IN ON CTU STRIKE
Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose weighed in on the Chicago teachers strike on Twitter.
Rose tweeted this on the first day teachers walked off the job: "Hope the CPS gets a deal done soon... We need our kids in school!"
He followed-up with this tweet: "I don't like that fact that our kids are not in school and that's the only thing we have to save these kids."
Rose concluded with one last, heartfelt tweet: "I'm sitting here just thinking how sad it is that my city got to go through this. I love my city and everyone in it even my haters!"
Former Chicago Public Schools CEO and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued a statement on the teacher's strike Wednesday:
"I hope that the parties will come together to settle this quickly and get our kids back in the classroom. I'm confident that both sides have the best interests of the students at heart, and that they can collaborate at the bargaining table to reach a solution that puts kids first."
Duncan was chief of CPS from 2001 to 2008.
JANITORS MAY STRIKE
Custodians who work at the schools may join the strike at the end of the week.
Their union has told its 1,500 janitors that they can honor the teacher picket lines if they like. The union said it's an individual choice, which is up to each worker.
WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
Didn't find what you were looking for?