No progress made as possible CPS teachers strike looms

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CHICAGO — The city and the Chicago Teachers Union continue to call each other out as they get closer to a strike vote.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s top negotiator said the union is lacking urgency and has not responded to recent proposals.

“We are committed to negotiating a fair contract that reflects our mutual belief in the importance of the work of your members and for the benefit of the students and the parents of CPS and the taxpayers of Chicago. We expect that the CTU would approach these negotiations with the same urgency,” attorney James Franczek wrote in a letter. “We have not seen that sense of urgency from CTU. We respectfully request that CTU advise us whether CTU shares our goal to conclude these negotiations by Sept. 27 and is willing to devote the time, energy and commitment to achieve that goal.”

But the union said Chicago Public Schools officials are being dishonest.

“After the mayoral election was decided, we thought that the negotiating table would change. As a candidate, Mayor Lightfoot campaigned on virtually every single contract proposal that we have put forward,” Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Stacy Davis Gates said. “Instead of seeing a shift at the negotiating table, we have been confronted with the same leadership that has presided over 50 school closings, the dismantling of the special education program and that’s overseen the tragic sex abuse scandal.”

CTU members plan to vote next week on whether to go on strike.

If approved by 75 percent of the vote, a strike could happen as soon as Oct. 7.

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