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Chicago Teachers ‘Optimistic’ About Contract Talks

CHICAGO, Ill.—Chicago Teachers Union negotiators said they were optimistic as contract talks resumed Oct. 25, the seventh day of the strike by more than 30,000 teachers and support staff. “Things are better than they’ve been in quite a while,” CTU President Jesse Sharkey told members on a morning picket line outside Lane Tech College Prep on the North Side. “We are not that far away.” He said the union and negotiators for the city Board of Education had exchanged proposals about class-size limits and adding nurses and psychologists, and the CTU wanted the contract to include provisions that would make the staffing levels enforceable. Union chief of staff Jennifer Johnson had told reporters the night before that it was “absolutely our hope” to be back in school on Monday, Oct. 28. “We’ll see where we are tomorrow but we are making progress.” Meanwhile, the CTU was preparing for an afternoon march to the site of The 78, a $7 billion taxpayer-subsidized development on the near South Side, giving about 500 members civil-disobedience training, and planning a large rally for Oct. 26 at Union Park on the Near West Side. Read more

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