Still no deal to end Chicago teacher strike after union raised hope for agreement

Striking teachers plan to demonstrate at a multibillion-dollar development site on the north side of Chicago on Tuesday morning after their union failed to come to an agreement with Chicago Public Schools on Monday.

"We are targeting Lincoln Yards because it's being funded in part by TIF [tax increment financing] money that should be going to our schools," the union said in a memo to members, according to The Chicago Sun-Times. "If [Mayor Lori] Lightfoot wanted to settle the contract TODAY, she would only need to declare an additional TIF surplus to do so."

The union had planned to stay at the bargaining table until a deal was struck, leading some to expect a deal by Tuesday morning. However, negotiators called it quits for the time being at 2 a.m. on Tuesday after 16 hours of back-and-forth, The Sun-Times reported. The strike is approaching the two-week mark.


Striking Chicago teachers march in the city's famed Loop on the fifth day of canceled classes on Oct. 23, 2019, in Chicago. Tt address. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford)

The Chicago Teachers Union said Monday its bargaining team "does not plan on leaving until they've managed to get a tentative agreement with CPS."

A representative for striking Chicago teachers expressed hope following late-night bargaining talks and said the union "has laid out a path for a settlement" that could reopen classrooms in the nation's third-largest school district.

General Counsel Robert Bloch said early Tuesday that the union representing 25,000 teachers is awaiting the city's response. Bloch says the parties have narrowed their differences, "but we're not there yet."

Both sides remain divided over demands for smaller classes and more staff.

Chicago Public Schools insists its offer would put a nurse and social worker in every school every day, just like the teachers union asked.

"We put that in the contract in writing. We're investing $25 million to reduce class sizes ... In this proposal, we have a 16% increase for teachers so that by the end of this contract the average teacher will be earning nearly 100,000," LaTanya McDade of Chicago Public Schools told reporters on Monday night.

"We still have many key issues on the table. Primarily, some of the big ones is around prep time ... In some instances, we are still far apart. ... We are committed to working hard at the table for however long it takes," McDade said before talks fell apart.

Students missed classes for the ninth day on Tuesday because of the strike. The strike affects more than 300,000 students in the city and involves more than 26,000 teachers.

The walkout has surpassed the length of a 2012 teachers' strike. The district has reached a tentative agreement with a separate union representing thousands of school support staff.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.