Teachers vow to strike unless contract deal is made by Tuesday

CHICAGO -- Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis says negotiations on a new contract for teachers will continue through the weekend, but as it stands right now there is no deal. The CTU and the City are still apparently far apart as teachers served notice they’re ready to strike.

“If we can’t secure an agreement all 28,000 CTU members will go on strike and erect pickets as early as 6 a.m. at all CPS buildings on Tuesday morning,” Lewis said.

It'll be an anxious weekend for parents, teachers and students as they wonder what lies ahead. There's no school Monday due to Columbus Day, but classes could be cancelled Tuesday if negotiators fail to reach a tentative deal by Monday at the latest.

Teachers are ready to go on strike because they’re unhappy with the new contract proposal being offered by the City.  In the meantime, Ald. George Cardenas and others on the City Council are proposing an ordinance to funnel additional TIF funds to close the gap in negotiations.

The Emanuel Administration already committed $32.5 million in special TIF or Tax Increment Financing dollars to Chicago Public Schools. Even beyond averting a strike, aldermen say the City should take more TIF money, slated for economic development, and invest it in Chicago school kids.

A spokesperson for Chicago Public Schools said in a statement they’re continuing to negotiate around the clock to strike a deal and avert the strike.