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CPS strike: Negotiations continue as Chicago participants strike on day two



A senior city official told CNN that the two sides are "still quite far apart" and the strike is likely to go over the weekend.

"We understand it's difficult for parents," Jesse Sharkey, president of the Chicago Union of Teachers, told reporters Friday morning. "But this is a short-term interruption to what we hope is a long-term commitment to educational justice in this city."

About 25,000 teachers began a strike with many of the same demands that teachers across the country said: smaller classes, more support staff, higher promotions and more money for schools.

Negotiating team members spent at least 10 hours on the table Thursday, according to Union Chief Jennifer Johnson.

"It was moving, but not enough," she told a news conference Thursday night.

  Striking pickets of teachers and staff outside John J.'s school. Pershing Magnet in the Bronzeville neighborhood on Thursday.

Among the teachers is Willie Cousins, who worked as a teacher's assistant for five years for less than $ 30,000 a year, he said.

"And to make ends meet, I had to get extra work at Walmart, Food 4. Less – it all depends – for my pay," he said. "But I have a family of four to provide."

The union also wants the city to hire more librarians, social workers, counselors and nurses. And he says there aren't enough teachers for English-speaking students.

"Our students deserve smaller class sizes. They deserve nurses. They deserve social workers. They deserve bilingual teachers," says special education teacher Linda Perales.

The city's proposal is "the best deal," says Mayor

The Chicago Board of Education previously released a 71-page counterfeit in line with union demands.

"We have tried to secure the best deal that is fiscally responsible. This is fair to teachers and fair to taxpayers," said Mayor Lori Lightfoot. "It provides a pay increase of 16% for all employees. It would immediately raise the lowest paid workers. The average attendance staff will see an increase of 38% of pay throughout the (five-year) contract under this proposal. "

  Mayor Lori Lightfoot, second from left, and Chicago Public Schools Executive Director Janice Jackson, right, check on students at McCormick YMCA of Chicago Subway Thursday.
school buses will not There are dozens of community centers open to students, including the YMCAs and the Chicago Boys and Girls Clubs.

Some parents, such as Liam Boyd, do not support the strike. The father of a fourth-grader at Blaine Elementary called the strike "a total distraction and interruption of the school year."

"I do not support the union," he said. "The school district and the city were fairer this time and (are) trying to be fairer."

Omar Jimenez, Brad Parks, Gianluca Metzofiore, Sheena Jones, Amanda Watts and Darran Simon contributed to this report.


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