CTU, CPS To Negotiate Through Weekend — Is Deal Near?

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Photo credit WBBM Newsradio/Mike Ramsey
By WBBM Newsradio 780 AM & 105.9 FM

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) – Representatives for the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Board of Education will work over the weekend to try to clinch a contract deal that might end a teachers’ strike that began Oct. 17.

CTU President Jesse Sharkey on Friday night said bargainers had made progress and it was important for both sides to work hard to resolve lingering issues.

“Hopefully, we can get over the hump, but I will say that it still requires some resources and it still requires some will from the political leadership of the city,” Sharkey said.

Chicago Public Schools representatives likewise seemed to indicate a deal is potentially closer.

"It's about give and take at this point. It's not just about money, it's about give and take," Sybil Madison, deputy mayor of education and human services, said at a CPS media briefing. 

Among sticking points for the CTU are written guarantees on class sizes. Teachers have also tried to work broader issues into their contract talks, such as affordable housing that might help poor students. 

Earlier Friday, striking teachers and their supporters rallied at the Thompson Center. Hundreds of striking teachers walked in and around the Loop.

Friday marked the seventh school day in which classes were canceled. Some 360,000 students have been affected.