CHICAGO — Classes in Chicago schools are canceled for a third day Monday as negotiations between the city and its teachers union continued into Sunday night.
School buildings will be open and students will be served breakfast and lunch at schools, and then be offered dinner to take home, Chicago Public Schools said in a tweet Sunday evening.
Earlier in the day, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a tweet that the city had not received full, written counteroffers from the union to its proposals on class size or staffing, two key issues. “These negotiations must move more swiftly so that we can get students back into school as fast as possible,” the statement said.
Members of the union’s bargaining team contested that charge, saying Sunday night that they had a productive bargaining weekend and had even come to several tentative agreements. In an email to supporters, the union said it had tentatively come to terms with the city on eight issues, including on a charter moratorium and a pipeline for hiring more teachers of color.
But major differences remain. The union’s email said there had not yet been agreement on several “priority” issues: pay and benefits, enforcement mechanisms for class size and staffing, teacher prep time, and the length of the contract.
Meanwhile, contract negotiations appear stalled between the city and Service Employees International Union Local 73, which represents special education aides and bus aides and is also on strike. A spokesperson with Local 73 said the union hasn’t held a bargaining meeting since Wednesday last week, and there isn’t a next meeting scheduled with the union.
Without a resolution, Chicago Teachers Union members plan to return to the picket line Monday morning. Rain is predicted. “Any chance someone has a red rain poncho?” read one post on a neighborhood Facebook group on Sunday. “#theraindoesntpausethecause.”