Approaching midnight on Monday, the Chicago Board of Education’s negotiators were still trying to work out an agreement with the teacher’s union and their new contract. The strike’s deadline is midnight.
One source called the negotiating, two parties going over “nitty-gritty” details. A 10 p.m. news conference was scheduled by the Chicago Teachers Union, while informing that the negotiations could continue until midnight. With no agreement being made, it would be the second strike that the union has had in the past four years, under the leadership of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Monday evening, the teachers’ union went to the social media and made comments on Twitter and reiterated their demand for an increase in money from special taxing districts to be used for the schools. It was reported that the mayor was willing to increase the amount of amount of money, but a specific amount was not given.
The union placed the focus on the surplus tax increment financing funds, which could be used for raises and job security for the teachers. The teachers feel the increase is owed to them, now that Chicago Public Schools want them to increase their contributions towards retirement. The mayor’s aides were preparing for the mayor to give his address on the city’s 2017 budget, while the agreement was going on. Although the address is for Tuesday, the mayor considered postponing the address to tackle the union issue amongst teachers and schools.
On Monday, Mayor Emanuel was present at a grocery store opening in Bronzeville. His focus is on the shared goal, amongst the unions, to not disrupt the students and their education. The mayor wanted a deal that was fair for the taxpayers of Chicago and the teachers. The mayor went on to say, “That’s our goal, and my #1 priority is to keep kids in school safe.”
Monday afternoon the teachers’ union was already in preparation for a strike, by picking up their materials for a strike. They also informed the teachers to form a picket line, outside the schools, at 6 a.m. on Tuesday. If nothing was settled, the union staff member and volunteers began to distribute picket signs and t-shirts. There was even a large banner that read, “CTU Strike Headquarters.”
Throughout the afternoon, hundreds of teachers continued to pick up their supplies to prepare for a strike. Despite the preparation, the union members are hoping that a resolution is made.