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Teachers strike in Chicago: 25,000 teachers flooded City Hall with requests on Day 5



About 25,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union gathered Wednesday when Mayor Lori Lightfoot delivered his address on the city's budget.

The city insists "no more money" to propose reunification, but teachers say they will not give up until they receive more support staff, higher promotions and staffing limits in the country's third-largest school district.

"We are ready to strike until we are done," said CTU President Jesse Sharkey. "We will not give up this fight until we have what is right and what is right."

While adults are racing, 300,000 students are missing the fifth day of Wednesday. Some students play board games or make origami instead of studying in class.

Now some parents are torn which side to support.

"I support both parties, but I think they have to come to an agreement and give a little to both parties because they only hurt the kids," said Dominic Williams, the mother of two daughters in high school.

The city offered some discounts.

So Wednesday's mayoral hearing could mark a turning point in the strike.

A senior city official with direct knowledge of the negotiations told CNN that progress is slow but "gradual".

he said that if both sides can address two major issues about class size and staffing, the strike will end "swiftly."

In a Facebook post, the Chicago Teachers Union said its negotiating team was reviewing 1

0

Schools will be closed on Thursday, the eighth day of the strike.

"We reach preliminary agreements on many issues," the publication said.

"Things are getting more chaotic"

One of the biggest needs is for more social workers in schools. This is especially true in Chicago, where many students struggle with poverty, violence and grief at a very young age.
  Student athletes disappear in the playoffs while the strike continues

"Everything is so different from any other way "Things seem to be getting more chaotic over the years," said Williams, a mother of two on the city's heavy west side.

"Many of these children need help. … Some of these children need this social worker because they cannot talk to their parent. Or they cannot talk to their friend. So they will talk to this social worker because it is a separate entity, far from what happened. "

One school social worker said he had to split his time between four buildings and 1039 students.

"I'm tired of telling the kids that I can only be there 1 1/2 days all week," she said. "We can't plan our crises according to when I'm there."

Darian Martinyuk, the father of two students, evaluates what teachers are fighting for. But too many Chicago Public Schools can ask.

"While I think that teachers have some noble and dignified demands that need to be addressed, I think that the leadership of the union at best behaves cynically, at worst using any leverage who think they should get the most out of a system that has nothing else to give, "said Martiniuk.

" Additional staff such as librarians, nurses, counselors … have legitimate needs for teachers for more. But the union leadership does not seem to understand the financial structure of CPS and how it is a limited pool of money. You can "Just keep taxing year after year because they can't do it by law."

"I'm angry," says one mother

  The strike

"We must live within our means. That's what taxpayers expect us to do, and we'll do it. "

See what Chicago Public Schools offer teachers

Williams says both sides need to resolve their differences quickly.

"I'm angry that the kids have been out for so long," she said. "They need their time in class."

CNN's Melissa Alonso contributed to this report.


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