Palatine school officials, union members back at bargaining table

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PALATINE, Ill. --- There is still no deal for school workers on strike in Palatine, but both sides were back at the bargaining table on Sunday and said they are making progress.

District leaders and union members have been at the bargaining table since 10 a.m. Sunday morning.

People have high hopes they’ll reach an agreement Sunday night but it’s unclear how long they’ll be there.

Nearly 1,000 people rallied outside the school district ahead of negotiations Sunday morning.

Union members plus family and friends wore yellow t-shirts that brightened up a dreary day.

Monday marks one week since about 450 educational support staff walked off the job. That includes school secretaries, nurses, and program assistants.

Since then, a Cook County judge ordered some of them back to work--ruling that their jobs are vital to student safety. But the union has countered that with a lawsuit.

While some are forced back in the classroom, others will stay on strike.

Union members said negotiations have been ongoing since February and they’ve been working without a contract since this summer.

Both sides said they got closer to reaching a deal after 12 hours of negotiations on Wednesday.

Everyone is hopeful they can get it done Sunday.

The school district’s spokesperson could not go on camera, but issued the following statement:

"This has been an emotional time for our staff and community. It is easy to put one side against the other, but I want to emphasize that we are all on the same team. We are all part of the District 15 family with a joint mission of providing an excellent education to our students. We are hopeful an amicable resolution is in sight.”