September 9th, 2012
05:45 PM ET

Chicago school board chief cites progress, but no strike-averting deal

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - Despite what the head of Chicago's school board deemed a day of "productive talks," the nation's third-largest public school system entered Sunday without a contract with teachers - and with a strike looming.

Teachers and support staff in Chicago set a walkout date Monday, which would mark the first time they have gone on strike in 25 years.

Speaking late Saturday, Chicago Teachers Union chief Karen Lewis said that no action has been taken to alter the teacher's plans not to work next week.

"We've made some progress, but we've still got big issues on the items we've always had big issues on," she told reporters, shortly after walking out of union headquarters with a group singing "solidarity forever."

About 40 minutes earlier, the president of Chicago's board of education told reporters progress was made in extensive talks Saturday, while noting the pressure posed by the fast approaching deadline.

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Filed under: Policy • Practice • teacher unions • Teachers
soundoff (15 Responses)
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  9. John

    Fair salary? It depends on what you consider fair. Google CPS rooster for any given year and see what individual teachers are paid. By any standard 70k is fair for a teacher's salary.

    September 9, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
  10. Nick

    The Chicago Teachers Union should be publicly criticized by the public for even considering the thought of a strike. They are devoted and for the most part wonderful teachers, even considering a strike where children would be placed in the middle is appalling. Nevertheless, in the event of a strike Rahm Emanuel should follow the precedent of Ronald Reagan and declare all the striking teachers criminals, much in the way that Reagan did in the 80's. Give them 48 hours to return to work or be replaced. There are hundreds of thousands of teachers who need work and would be more than willing to occupy those open positions.

    September 9, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Chris

      Nick, it's not that simple. Teachers don't strike flippantly. Teachers WANT to be teaching. However, teachers also want to make a fair salary, and work in acceptable conditions.

      September 9, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
      • lisa

        Chris, I know there are MANY teachers that would like to be teaching but Chicago public schools are one of the lowest in the country. This to me is a direct result of the curriculm and what the teacher's are teaching. How come schools in Bridgeport, with a higher asian population, are putting out good grades and the charter schools are leading the way with excellent grades and top honors in the USA.

        September 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Jim Barnhill

      Nick, an independent arbitrator looked at the situation and realized that the CTU teachers were effectively being asked to work 17% more time without a dime for the extra work (I might be off by a percent on that). Do you think that's a fair way to operate? That's a bully employer who is daring the workforce to take it or leave it. If your employer did that to you, you'd either leave for a new job, or complain about it, but thankfully a union can stand up and say enough is enough.

      September 9, 2012 at 10:56 pm |