Chicago’s City Council reacts to upcoming teacher strike

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CHICAGO — There is normal business here at City Council Wednesday but the teachers strike hovers over everything.

Word came down from Mayor Lori Lightfoot this morning that Chicago Public School classes are canceled Thursday.

Chicago Teachers Union leadership announced that their negotiating team cannot recommend postponing the strike scheduled to begin at midnight.

The mayor said she can’t meet CTU demands and that contingency plans are in place for no school Thursday.

The aldermen are paying attention. Most are being careful not to anger the new mayor with comments, but they also don’t want to go against the powerful Chicago Teachers Union.

“I do hope that within the next 16 hours that an agreement will be reached,” said 26th Ward Alderman Roberto Maldonado. “I think that they’re very close and I think it’s just a matter of putting some of the mutual understanding in writing by the administration which I hope it happens.”

“We keep seeing this hardline approach by mayor and it’s not working. It’s not working with CTU. It’s not working with SEIU,” said 15th Ward Alderman Raymond Lopez. “It didn’t work last night here in the Council with marijuana. Three and a half hours of negotiating only to say I’m done with negotiating. That’s not how you govern property especially if you want this city to keep moving forward.”

When asked if he blames the mayor’s style for all this unrest, Lopez said, “Yes.”

The teacher strike is expected to start at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, unless a deal is struck.

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