Striking teachers rally in downtown Chicago.

Chicago students miss 7th day of classes as strike continues

Oct. 25, 2019
Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union negotiators express optimism that talks are progressing.

Classes have been canceled again Friday after Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union failed to reach a deal to end a strike in the nation’s third-largest school district.

WGN-TV reports that both sides say they’ve made progress at the bargaining table, but disagreements remain on key issues, such as class sizes and staffing.

“Today was a good day,”  Union Chief of Staff Jennifer Johnson said. “We’re making good progress.”

“We’re encouraged after today’s back and forth at the table.” said LaTanya McDade, the district's chief education officer. “We’re looking forward to what comes tomorrow. We’re hoping to get to a place where our students and teachers are back in the classrooms very soon.”

As of Friday, the strike has kept students out of classes for seven days. That matche the length of the teachers' 2012 strike.

About 25,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union went on strike Oct. 17, canceling school for more than 300,000 students. The union has expressed hope that classes could resume Monday; however, members will continue picketing until there is a deal.

Earlier: The Chicago Teachers Union it has been making progress in contract negotiations with the school district, but it is not enough to persuade teachers to return to the classroom.

WGN-TV reports that classes have been cancelled again Wednesday, marking the fifth day of instruction that students have missed since the union began its strike.

In addition to classes being canceled, the city's student-athletes will be forced to forfeit state playoff games because of state rules that ban players from competing when their school is on strike.

The Illinois High School Association rule states:

“If a high school or district is on strike when the IHSA series begins at its lowest level, then that high school or the high schools in that district are prohibited from participating.”

Afterschool activities also have been suspended during the strike.

District officials say that under its offer to the union, an average teacher will see salary rise to nearly $100,000. Support staff such as clerks, nurses, and teacher assistants will receive raises exceeding 20% over five years, and many will see their paychecks rise 7 to 14% immediately.

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