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US 'We could end this within a couple days,' Chicago Teachers Union president says at beginning of third day without classes

19:51  21 october  2019
19:51  21 october  2019 Source:   chicagotribune.com

Union rep hopeful as Chicago teachers' strike enters 9th day

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Teachers union President Jesse Sharkey said after further negotiations Monday that he found “my hopes are dashed" after believing the two sides Monday morning, at a picket line at Gray Elementary School in Portage Park, Sharkey struck a different tone, saying : “ We could end this within a couple

Chicago Public Schools has canceled Wednesday classes as teachers union delegates emerged without a contract deal. The news came despite an apparent push by both sides Tuesday to reach an agreement that could end the walkout and put about 300,000 CPS students and 25,000 teachers

CHICAGO — Monday was the third day without classes in Chicago public schools, with picket lines remaining up around the city as union officials reported some progress during weekend talks.

Teachers and support staff were out in front of Chicago schools again Monday morning after staying out of school starting Thursday. The strike has sent about 25,000 teachers and 7,000 support staff to pickets line and kept about 300,000 students out of class and extracurricular activities, although school buildings staffed by principals and non-striking staff have been open for child care and meals.

“We could end this within a couple days. But there would need to be a commitment on the mayor’s part to do that,” Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey said while standing Monday morning at a picket line at William P. Gray Elementary School in Portage Park.

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The Chicago Teachers Union strike continued, with Elizabeth Warren joining a picket line and union leadership blasting Mayor Lori Lightfoot after classes were canceled for a fourth day . The Chicago Teachers Union — which received a visit from Elizabeth Warren to the picket lines Tuesday along

Teachers in Chicago Public Schools, the country’s third -largest district, said they would return to school after an 11- day walkout. Jesse Sharkey, the Chicago Teachers Union president , held a news conference that made no secret of lingering bitterness on both sides.

“We’re holding strong and things look good,” he told teachers. “After 10 months of telling us that they would not bargain over class size and staffing, we saw written proposals over class size and staffing.”

Sharkey said there have been a few sticking points. One is the desire for a nurse in every school every day. Another is fixing the way pay stagnates for teachers in their last 20 years. Sharkey said those are the teachers who mentor and show younger teachers how to do the job.

“I’m not saying we’re going to fall asleep tonight in Portage Park and wake up in Winnetka … but we want to see progress,” Sharkey said to cheers from the teachers on the picket line.

Noting that his two children attend Chicago public schools, Sharkey said his oldest’s soccer team made it into the playoffs and “still really isn’t speaking to me.” Sharkey added that he understands the frustration, but that “no one wants to get back into the classroom more than the teachers in the city of Chicago.”

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Chicago Teachers Union leaders say they don’t have a deal yet to end their weeklong strike but that they’re getting down to the final issues left to be Of the likelihood of teachers and students getting back to their classrooms next week, Sharkey said , “It’s what we want; obviously our members want

CHICAGO — The Chicago Teachers Union agreed on Tuesday to end its strike in the nation’s third -largest “ This settlement is an honest compromise,” Mr. Emanuel said at a news conference. It means a new day and a new direction for Chicago Public Schools.” Officials at the Chicago Public

“This is the best-in-a-generation opportunity to do some important things,” he said. “We’re going to hold firm for the resources we need. We’re going to hold firm as a city and as a union.”

Class sizes remain a sticking point, though the city put some language in writing on Sunday.

One middle school teacher who spoke outside Gray, Kaitlyn Jensen, said she teaches special education classes that are supposed to have a limit of 12 students in each self-contained classroom. She said she’s sat in on classes where there were 18 special education students. Sharkey added to her point, saying some of these students may be nonverbal, may require medication every day, or may be in a wheelchair. He reiterated his call for a nurse in each school.

“Although we want a fast settlement we’re going to hold fast for a just settlement,” he said.

At a news conference late Sunday, union officials said they made progress on smaller class sizes and counselors. The union made a counterproposal, a CTU member said.

The two sides spent time Sunday discussing affordable housing and rent control. But according to an administration source, the mayor’s side reiterated its opposition to putting those issues in a contract, where it says they don’t belong.

The union also got language added into the contract to ensure pre-K classrooms have a 10-1 student-to-adult ratio, an official announced Sunday night.

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Chicago mayor begs teachers to return to classrooms amid ongoing strike .
Disagreements over pay, benefits and class size are among the top concerns that prompted the strike, which started on Thursday, Oct. 17. Monday marks the third day of school missed as a result of the strike. Mayor Lori Lightfoot wrote a letter Monday to Chicago Teachers Union president Jesse Sharkey, calling for the teachers to return to the classrooms while negotiations carry on. "While we have made progress at the bargaining table, it is unclear that we can reach an agreement today given the current pace," Lightfoot wrote in the letter.

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