Chicago teachers hold informational picket, hope to avoid strike - FOX 32 News Chicago

Chicago teachers hold informational picket, hope to avoid strike

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Chicago Teachers Union held informational pickets Monday outside six Track-E schools that already are in session.

Teachers, paraprofessionals and clinicians are hoping to highlight ongoing disputes with the Chicago Public School system over contract agreements. The union said it's still trying to reach an agreement on wages, health benefits and job security.

The union and Board of Education already agreed on one big issue: hiring more teachers to help the district manage a longer school day rather than asking existing teachers to work more hours.

The union said it will picket at several schools throughout the week - but won't interfere with classes.

"We want to establish our side of what we want: a better school day, not just longer," one teacher said. "[Union] delegates are scheduled to meet at Lane Tech in the afternoon."

CPS said in a statement that the focus should be on the children, and reaching a fair agreement, where both sides have made significant progress recently.

"Students must always come first and shouldn't be distracted from their learning," the statement read, "especially now that kids throughout the district are benefiting from the start of the full school day."

Teachers voted in June to authorize a strike. The union must give a 10-day notice if it intends to do so. That could happen any time, now that a 30-day cooling-off period has ended.

The union began printing strike signs last week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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