‘The ball is in the mayor’s court’: CTU provides update following ‘angry’ Friday

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CHICAGO — CTU President Jesse Sharkey said negotiations were better Saturday with the city following a “sullen and angry” Friday. On Saturday, CTU said their latest bargaining effort “does not solve all outstanding issues,” but is hopeful it will lead to a contract and settlement. The union said they modified their original proposal on asking for one restorative justice officer in each and every school. The union said they provided a framework to phase in those positions over time. Members of both CTU and CPS met in the Loop before 9 a.m. Saturday morning. The meeting was scheduled to go until 2 p.m. but just wrapped up in the last hour. “I thought it was positive encouraging. It was better than yesterday, which was a pretty sullen and angry day,” Jesse Sharkey said. Sharkey’s comments come after a turbulent Friday at the bargaining table. “Right now, the ball is in the mayor’s court,” Sharkey said. As Thursday’s strike date looms, the negotiations between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union appeared to have taken a turn for the worse Friday. Mayor Lori Lightfoot using her strongest language yet to describe the contract negotiations with CTU. In a statement, the mayor and CPS CEO detailed their latest counteroffer and said, “We have bent over backwards to meet CTUs concerns…Based on the fact that it is now day 145 without a comprehensive written counteroffer, it appears that CTU is refusing to negotiate in good faith, and instead is determined to strike at all costs. ” CPS said it delivered a 72-page counteroffer at Friday’s bargaining session. It includes an agreement on teacher prep times and additional support for overcrowded classrooms along with dedicated resources devoted to developing a pipeline for more nurses, counselors, and support staff. It’s also offering a 16 percent raise over 5 years. But at a news conference Friday evening, the union called the district’s latest offer “insulting.” The next meeting between CTU officials and the city’s board of education is on Monday.

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