CTU's Karen Lewis: School unlikely until Monday
September 13, 2012 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Could the Chicago teachers strike end Thursday? Probably not, says Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis.
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The strike is now in Day 4 for teachers on the picket lines. But there are signs of hope that resolution could come soon, perhaps by Thursday. However, Lewis says a meeting of the CTU House of Delegates, which must ratify a deal, cannot be put together until Friday. So students will at least be out of school until Monday.
For the first time, both sides appear to be on the same page and after bargaining went late into the night Wednesday, it looks like they are closer to a deal.
"We're getting to the point where, you know, that it definitely should be possible, but you know, it's a process and we will keep working at it," said Lewis.
"I'm happy. It is a lot better than it was this morning," said Chicago School Board President David Vitale.
The change of tone between the union and school board was clear as they emerged from late night talks. A far cry from how things appeared earlier in the day. Besides face-to-face meetings, during the last round of talks both sides held separate meetings and smaller group discussions in an attempt to narrow the gap over teacher evaluations and job recall rights.
"We had a very productive evening. You know, really good discussions and proposals on the most difficult issues that we face," Lewis said.
We have made a lot of progress today. We spent a lot of time on evaluation. We still have a lot of work to do, but it seems like we are definitely coming much closer together than we were certainly this morning," Vitale said Wednesday.
Meanwhile, six additional parks were added to the Children First program, which now offers students full-schol-day length accommodations so parents can work during the strike.
local, jessica d'onofrio
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