Chicago teachers, school system back to negotiating as strike hits day 11

The Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools are due back at the bargaining table on Sunday after a marathon Saturday session as union's strike hits day 11.

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The parties were in negotiations for more than 14 hours Saturday, ABC 7 Chicago reported.

Striking Chicago teachers march in the city's famed Loop on the fifth day of canceled classes Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, in Chicago. The protest was timed to coincide with Mayor Lori Lightfoot's first budget address. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford)

"You have some pretty aggressive requests from the teachers union themselves. ... What they want is something that would bring the wages from average teacher salary from $79,000 to over $100,000 a year when you factor in step increases," Heritage Foundation economics research fellow Rachel Greszler told FOX Business.

Greszler called Chicago Public Schools' counteroffer "pretty generous." Chicago Public Schools offered 3% raises during the first three years of the contract after the union asked for 5% raises, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.

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For the union, the weekend has brought both good and bad. Musician Chance the Rapper, a proud Chicagoan, expressed support for the union on "Saturday Night Live," but emotions were running high after a judge ruled high school runners benched by the strike won't be able to compete in a state-qualifying meet Saturday.

In addition, many students will have to wait to take the ACT test after multiple exams scheduled for Saturday were postponed because of the strike, ABC 7 reported.

The two sides are about $38 million apart. The union said it will strike as long as needed to get guarantees on the changes it wants, like smaller class sizes and more social workers, case managers and school nurses.

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The strike affects more than 300,000 students in the city and involves more than 26,000 teachers.