CHICAGO (CBS) — As the Chicago teachers’ strike enters its 10th calendar day, teachers and their supporters plan to rally at Union Park, while some CPS student runners plan to show up to a regional meet at Lincoln Park, even though they can’t compete.
A Cook County judge ruled Friday that the Jones College Prep cross-country team may not take part in the state regionals on Saturday due to the ongoing teachers strike at Chicago Public Schools. The team had sued to challenge an Illinois High School Association policy prohibiting sports teams from participating in competition of any kind during a strike.
“Just like in the game of life, you have to accept defeat sometimes, and these kids will bounce back, but yeah it’s definitely tough on them,” said Joe Trost, founder of the PepsiCo Showdown school sports tournament.
Jones Prep students said they want people to know they’re not forfeiting, so they will show up for regionals anyway, and hold a run of their own after the official races end.
“There’s nothing we can do about it. We’ve worked as hard as we could. We’ve put everything we’ve had into this, and we just have to accept what happened,” said Jones Prep senior Colin Greiner.
Meantime, CPS officials and the Chicago Teachers Union both reported progress in negotiations on Friday, and will be back at the bargaining table on Saturday.
“We feel good about the direction that we’re going in. We feel like today’s conversations are headed in the right direction. They’ve been very productive, and we’ve made a lot of progress. So we’re encouraged after today’s back and forth at the table, and we’re looking forward to what comes tomorrow, and hoping that we can get to a place where our students and our teachers are back in the classroom very soon,” CPS chief education officer LaTanya McDade said Friday night.
Both sides said they didn’t want to discuss details of Friday’s negotiations, because they didn’t want to risk hampering the progress that was made. CPS students have missed seven days of class due to the strike, matching the length of the last Chicago teachers’ strike in 2012.
CTU chief of staff Jennifer Johnson said the union has not yet scheduled a house of delegates meeting for Saturday for a possible vote on a tentative agreement.
“We’ll obviously know when we’re ready to call in our house,” she said.
Johnson said the union hopes to have teachers back in class by Monday.
“That is absolutely our hope, and we’ll see where we are tomorrow, but we’re making progress,” she said.
CTU President Jesse Sharkey said there were no “critical breakthroughs,” on Friday, but he said the two sides are at a point where there is “not a huge number of issues.”
“Hopefully, we can get over the hump,” Sharkey said. “But I will say that it still requires some resources, and still requires some will, from the political leadership of the city.”
While negotiators try to wrap up a contract deal on Saturday, many teachers will rally at Union Park on the West Side, joined by support staff represented by SEIU Local 73. Support staff also have been on strike since Oct. 17.
Teachers also plan to gather Saturday afternoon at Buckingham Fountain, where they rallied on Friday before trying to march on Lake Shore Drive. Police blocked them from getting on Lake Shore Drive, and they eventually marched on Michigan Avenue.