(CBS) – Hundreds of Chicago Teachers Union members gathered in Grant Park Monday in hopes of moving along a stalled labor contract with the Chicago Board of Education – and preventing massive budget cuts and layoffs.
“Right now, negotiations are stuck on neutral, and they’re going nowhere,” CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey told reporters before the rally. “We have not seen negotiating in good faith by the Board of Ed. We’ve been at it for more than a year … It’s time to move this thing.”
Sharkey said historically the only way teachers have gotten the attention of public officials is through striking.
Chicago Public Schools officials say pension obligations are forcing their hand to cut expenses early next year, and they have implored feuding state leaders for financial help. Without an infusion of money, layoffs are estimated at 5,000 employees.