Teacher Prep Time Sticking Point in Talks with CPS

Nancy Harty
October 03, 2019 - 12:41 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- With a Chicago teachers strike possibly starting two weeks from today, Mayor Lori Lightfoot appears unwilling to budge on a majoring sticking point. 

The teachers union said the number one issue their members would walk out over is the loss of prep time for elementary teachers. It was cut when the district lengthened the school day in 2012, after a week-long strike. 

At a City Hall press conference, the mayor called it a hard-fought win and said "we're not going to shorten the school day. It's not gonna happen." 

The union said adding prep time wouldn't mean shortening the day... but rather giving schools resources to make that additional time productive for students.

Mayor Lightfoot says she remains confident CPS and the union can reach an agreement but she wants talks every day and written responses to the district's proposals.

"We should acccelerate the number of days we are negotiating," Lightfoot said, adding that she would be open to talking everyday until Oct. 17.

As for the prospect of Union Park District staffers and school support personnel joining teachers on the picket line, the mayor said she's "aware of the fact that they're trying to bond together to try to leverage us" but said the issues are not the same.

The teachers union plans to hold a press conference at its headquarters at noon.